Computational Linguistics: 2011-2012
OverviewThe aim of this series of lectures is to provide an introduction to some of the major topics in computational linguistics. No previous knowledge of linguistics is required.
Learning outcomesBy the end of this lecture series you should understand what the concerns of computational linguists are and be familiar with some of the major topics in the area. You should also be in a position to find out more of the practical details for yourself.
A prior understanding of fundamental linguistic concepts is helpful but not entirely necessary for the course.
The practical component of the course consists of a relatively substantial programming assignment. Students are free to choose the programming language of their choice, but should be at least somewhat familiar with the following concepts:
- File I/O
- Associative Data Structures (e.g., Hash Maps)
- String Parsing (Some experience with regular expressions is helpful)
Students with little or no programming experience may find the practical component very challenging, and we would suggest they ensure that they develop a basic proficiency before attempting the course.
Intro to linguistics (1) Parts of speech
Automatically assigning parts of speech (‘pos tagging’).
Intro to linguistics (2) Syntax: constituent structure
Shallow parsing: NP chunking
Context Free Grammars and parsers for natural language
Intro to Unification Grammar
More efficient parsing: charts and packing
Probabilistic parsing and disambiguation
Intro to linguistics (3) Semantics and inference
Logic for natural language semantics
Automated inference for natural language
Word sense disambiguation; vector space models of meaning
Some text processing applications:
Information Extraction; Question Answering
Spoken language dialogue modelling:
information state approaches;
Markov Decision Processes, reinforcement learning
Reading listThe following textbooks cover much of the material. More detailed references will be given with the lectures. Lecture handouts will be supplied.
- James Allen 1995 Natural Language Understanding, Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 2nd edition.
- An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin, 2000, Prentice-Hall.