Schedule: Computational Semantics


This schedule is subject to change.

Assignments are due at the end of their due date (midnight).

Readings will be posted here. They are meant to accompany the class, and can be read before or after the class session.

Week 1

  • Jan 14: Introduction: some semantics-related tasks (not easy ones)

  • Jan 16: Language and propositional logic
    Material: a logic puzzle

Week 2

Week 3

  • Jan 28: university closed due to inclement weather

  • Jan 30: First-order theorem proving

    More about unification (if you are curious; not required for the class): F. Baader and W. Snyder, Unification Theory. In J.A. Robinson and A. Voronkov, editors, Handbook of Automated Reasoning, volume I, pages 447–533. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2001.

    The automatic semantic analysis tool we use for the demo in class: http://svn.ask.it.usyd.edu.au/trac/candc/wiki/boxer
    This tool uses neo-Davidsonian semantics and DRT -- we discuss this in more detail later.

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

  • Feb 18: Phenomena that require higher-order expressions, and the reason why we need to avoid higher-order logic.

  • Feb 20: First-order approximations, and Minimal Recursion Semantics
    We also discuss your project ideas.

Week 7

  • Feb 25: Generalized quantifiers, and Minimal Recursion Semantics
    Assignment 2 due
    • Background on generalized quantifiers, if you want to know more: 
      • Barwise and Cooper. Generalized quantifiers and natural language. Linguistics and Philosophy 4(2), 1981.
      • Keenan, Some properties of natural language quantifiers: Generalized quantifier theory. Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5), 2002. 
      • If you are curious why "most" is not first order definable, see van Benthem and Doets: Higher Order Logic.

  • Feb 27: Discourse processing

Week 8

Week 9: Spring break

Week 10

  • Mar 18: Distributional models
  • Mar 20: Practical issues in computing distributional models

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

  • April 8: Multimodal models. Describing word meaning in context

  • April 10: Compositional distributional semantics

Week 14

  • April 15: Putting things together: logic-based plus distributional semantics
    Assignment 4 due

  • April 17: Probabilistic inference

Week 15

  • April 22: Grounded models: Guest lecture, Ray Mooney
  • April 24: Distributional semantics: Is it semantics?

Week 16

  • April 29: Project presentations
    • 2:00 Michael Teng
    • 2:15 Tomas McCandless
    • 2:30 Jason Mielens
    • 2:45 Grant DeLozier
  • May 1:   Project presentations
    • 2:00 Alex Rosenfeld
    • 2:15 Emily Tagtow
    • 2:30 Jacqueline Larsen
    • 2:45 Julian Michael
    • 3:00 Simon Hafner


  • May 8: final report due (end of the day)



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