LIN350 Computational semantics: Schedule


This schedule is subject to change.

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

Readings can be done either before or after class (unless noted otherwise); they are chosen to support the material covered in class.

Week 1

  • Aug 25: Computational semantics: An overview. Part 1: phenomena and tasks.
    • Slides.
    • A draft paper with an overview of computational semantics is available on Canvas under "Files".

Week 2

  • Aug 30: Computational semantics: An overview. Part 2: Four core themes: (1) resources, (2) learning from corpora, (3) logic, (4) machine learning.
    • Reminder: A draft paper with an overview of computational semantics is available on Canvas under "Files".
  • Sep 1:  Distributional and logic-based approaches in a nutshell, or: What can I do for my project?

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

  • Sep 27 Topic modeling, continued
    • We talk in class about your project ideas.
  • Sep 29: Topic modeling, continued. Using distributional models: learning word senses and word relations

Week 7

  • Oct 4: Using distributional models: learning word senses and word relations
  • Oct 6: Using distributional models: paraphrasing and phrase representations

Week 8

Week 9


Week 10

  • Oct 25: Language and first-order logic, continued. Also: going beyond first-order logic.
  • Oct 27: Semantics construction and lambda calculus (lego for semantics construction)
    • Readings: Blackburn/Bos ch. 2 pages 55-66

Week 11

  • Nov 1: Lambda calculus continued
    • Readings: Blackburn/Bos ch. 2 pages 66-103
  • Nov 3: Underspecification: If "a book was read by every student", how many books total does that make?
    • Readings: Blackburn/Bos chapter 3, pages 105-109
    • Underspecification slides from Saarbrücken: here
    • Homework 3 due.

Week 12

  • Nov 8: Propositional inference
  • Nov 10: Logic-based semantics in NLTK
    • Readings: Blackburn/Bos chapter 4
    • Demo: computational semantics in NLTK
    • Intermediate project update due.

Week 13

Week 14

  • Nov 22: Integrating logic and distributional models
  • Nov 24: Thanksgiving

Week 15

  • Nov 29: Project presentations
    • 11:00 Beggs, Litts: Baby names through the years
      11:10 Smith, Stager: Patterns of sound and meaning
      11:20 Jacob, Srivastava, Zeng: Make linguistics great again (again)
      11:30 Blum, Pham: Sentiment in consumer reviews
      11:40 Holgate: Automatically answering science exam questions
      11:50 Chew: An analysis of #Blacklivesmatter and #Alllivesmatter
      12:00 Hodge: An analysis of presidential election tweets
      12:10 Pinette: Automatically detecting irony on Reddit
  • Dec 1: Project presentations
    • 11:00 Leal: Poetry by centuries
      11:10 Hildebrand, Weaver: What do Emojis mean?
      11:20 Banerjee, Becker: YouTube comment analysis
      11:30 Gomez, Gomez: Rhetorical trends in presidential debates
      11:40 Law, Mitchell, Shenoy: Bias and elections
      11:50 Assini, Nunez: Órale in border varieties of Spanish
      12:00 Lestari: Comparing folk tales


Final report due: Sunday December 11, end of day

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