Linguistics 566:
Introduction to Syntax for Computational Linguistics

A core course in UW's Professional Master's in Computational Linguistics

Autumn 2009

Course Info

Instructor Info




This course covers fundamental concepts in syntactic analysis such as part of speech types, constituent structure, the syntax-semantics interface, and phenomena such as complementation, raising, control, passive and long-distance dependencies. We will emphasize formally precise encoding of linguistic hypotheses and the design of grammars that can scale up to ever larger fragments of a language such as is required in practical applications. Through the course, we will progressively build up a consistent grammar for a fragment of English. Problem sets will introduce data and phenomena from other languages.

Course goals

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Note: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so we can discuss the accommodations you might need in this class.


Late homework policy

I would like to be able to post the answer keys to homeworks immediately after you turn them in, so that you can compare your answers while the issues are still fresh in your mind. However, if there are students who haven't yet turned in their homework, I can't do that. Accordingly, I have adopted the following late-homework policy:

Schedule of Topics and Assignments (may be updated)

9/30 Introduction/organization
First attempts at a theory of grammar
Ch 1   Recording available
10/5 CFG
Why NL aren't CF
Ch 2 HW 0 dueRecording available
10/7 Feature structures
Headed Rules, Trees
Ch 3  Recording available
10/12 Valence, Agreement Ch 4 HW 1 due (Ch 2,3)
Answer key
Recording available
10/14 Semantics Ch 5   Recording available
10/19 How the Grammar Works (ppt slides) Ch 6 HW 2 due (Ch 4,5)
Answer key
Recording available
10/21 Catch-up, review     Recording available
10/26 Binding Theory
Ch 7 HW 3 due (Ch 6)
Answer key
Recording available
10/28 Lexical Types Ch 8:8.1-8.4   Recording available
11/2 Lexical Rules Ch 8:8.5-8.8 HW 4 due (Ch 6,7,8)
Answer key
Recording available
11/4 Grammar and Processing Ch 9   Recording available
11/9 Passive Ch 10 HW 5 due (Ch 8)
Answer key
Recording available
11/11 No class: Veteran's Day      
11/16 Existentials, Extraposition, Idioms Ch 11  Recording available
11/18 Raising, Control Ch 12 Midterm due (Ch 1-10)
Answer key
Recording available
11/23 Auxiliary verbs Ch 13
Recording available
11/25 Auxiliary verbs, cont
Long-distance dependencies
Ch 14 HW 6 due (Ch 11,12)
Answer key
Recording available
11/30 LDDs (cont) Optional: Bouma et al 2000 (available here)   Recording available
12/2 Catch up, review
Course evals
  HW 7 due (Ch 12,13)
Answer key
Recording available
12/7 Syntax and sociolinguistic variation Ch 15  Recording available
12/9 Construction-based grammar
Ch 16 HW 8 due (Ch 14)
Answer key
Recording available
12/14 5pm     Final exam due
Answer key No late finals accepted.

Last modified: Mon Dec 14 21:33:14 PST 2009