Projects in Previous Years

2nd Semester 2015/16: Semantics and Pragmatics in Bayesian Interpretation

Henk Zeevat (ILLC and Heinrich-Heine-Universitataet, SFB991)
If you are interested in this project, please contact the instructor by email.
The course develops one particular elaboration of Bayesian interpretation for natural language. It does not address the general topic of Bayesian methods in computational linguistics and natural language processing, but starts from the assumption that humans do NL interpretation in a Bayesian way and explores the consequences of that assumption for linguistics, computational linguistics, semantics and pragmatics from a viewpoint that is theoretical (linguistics, philosophy of linguistics, philosophy) but does not avoid the details (computational linguistics subareas such as NL generation, pronouns resolution, discourse structure). The main thesis is that the human capacity of producing language is directly used for language comprehension. The backbone of the course is the lecturer's book Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition, published by Brill in 2014, but background material and further developments will also be discussed.
1. Introduction 2. Optimality Theory 3. OT Production for Interpretation 4. Optional Marking Strategies and Linguistic Evolution 5. Interpretation 6. Semantic Representation 7. Applications 8. Stochastic Update Semantics 9. Student presentations 10. Student presentations
There will be 10 sessions of two hours on 1,2,3 June and on 15,16, 17 June. 1 June and 15 June 13-15, 2,3,16,17 June 10-12 and 13-15 (subject to scheduling possibilities). There will be an additional date for preliminary presentation of the final assignments later on in June.
The course will be hard without some knowledge in at least some of the relevant areas: computational linguistics, linguistics, AI, cognitive science, NL semantics and pragmatics, logic and mental representation. But there are no specific prerequisites.
There will be a set of assignments and individual projects to be completed by 30 June. Some of these can be elaborations of presentations in the second week.