Schedule: seminar on word meaning in context




This schedule is subject to change.

Week 1

  • Jan 19  Introduction and course overview

Part 1: Phenomena                               

  • Jan 21 Tests for sense distinctions, and their problems.

Week 2

Week 3

  • Feb 2 Background: Concepts as prototypes or exemplars, and their connection to word meaning
    • Reading: A chapter from Murphy's Big Book of Concepts, to be made available on Canvas

  • Feb 4 Background: Feature representations in psychology and neuroscience

Week 4

  • Feb 9  Distinct senses in the brain?
  • Feb 11 Concept combination

Week 5

  • Feb 16 Generalized event knowledge
    • Reading: McRae and Matsuki, People use their knowledge of common events to understand language, and do so as quickly as possible. Available on Canvas

  • Feb 18 Compositionality and meaning in context

Week 6

Part 2: Representations                               

  • Feb 23 Background: type theory.
  • Feb 25 Asher's type-compositional semantics.

Week 7

  • Mar 2 Background: frames (in the Düsseldorf sense). Zeevat et al: Stochastic frames.
  • Mar 4 Background: machine learning and classification.

Week 8

  • Mar 9 Larsson, and perception as classification.
  • Mar 11 Lappin, Cooper, Larsson and Dobnik: combining perception as classification with type theory

Week 9

Spring break

Week 10

  • Mar 23 Gärdenfors' conceptual spaces
  • Mar 25 Background: distributional semantics a.k.a. semantic spaces a.k.a. word embeddings in computational linguistics

Week 11

  • Mar 30: Background: distributional semantics a.k.a. semantic spaces a.k.a. word embeddings in computational linguistics
  • April 1: Semantic spaces in cognition: Kintsch

Week 12

  • Apr 6 Baroni and Sadrzadeh: Compositional distributional semantics
  • Apr 8 Background: Bayesian generative models in computational linguistics

Week 13

  • Apr 13 Situation description systems
  • Apr 15  Situtation description systems, continued

Week 14

Part 3: Challenges                               

  • Apr 20 Can the meaning of a word vary arbitrarily? Recanati, and Del Pinal
  • Apr 22 The immediacy of world knowledge: Hagoort

Week 15

  • Apr 27 Conceptually and referentially afforded meanings
  • Apr 29 Is it possible to get a universal feature set to describe word meanings?

Week 16

  • May 4: Discussion of course projects
  • May 6: Discussion of course projects

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