CS506/606: Special Topics, Practical Linguistics

Richard Sproat

are double you ess at eks
					    oh bee a dot com

Fall 2010

TR 4-5:20, WCC403

Office Hours: By Appointment

Synopsis Materials Grades Syllabus


Computer scientists and engineers who work on such varied problems as speech recognition, speech synthesis, machine translation or information retrieval need to know something about language, yet very few of them have taken courses in linguistics. Part of the problem is that many academic linguistics courses do not focus on the kinds of topics that engineers and computer scientists really need to know about. This course will acquaint students with the ways in which languages vary in their phonetics, phonology, prosody, morphology, syntax and pragmatics. We will cover practical issues such as the different kinds of text normalization problems that different languages present, and factors that can be expected to make some languages easier or harder than others for specific problems. The course will also train students to use linguistic resources, such as grammars or lexicons.


I will use the following book in this course:
There will also be readings assigned from a variety of other sources.


Your grade will depend upon the following components:


Week 1 (9/28, 9/30): Features of the World's Languages.



Homework: Homework 1

Week 2 (10/5, 10/7): Articulatory and acoustic phonetics; sounds of the world's languages


Homework: Homework 2

Week 3 (10/12, 10/14): Phonology: the study of sound alternations

Reading: I am not assigning reading for this section, but you can take a look at the Wikipedia page on phonology for a very high-level overview of the field.

Homework: Homework 3

Week 4, 5, 6 (10/19, 10/28, 11/2): Morphology


Homework: Homework 4

Week 4 (10/21): Intonation and prosody

Week 6 (11/4): Midterm

Week 7 (11/9, 11/11): Syntax


Homework: Homework 5

Week 8 (11/16): Semantics


Homework: Homework 6

Week 8 (11/18): Writing


Week 9 (11/23): Historical linguistics


Homework: Homework 7

Week 10 (11/30, 12/2): Practical issues

12/7: Final (Normal class time 4-5:30)

© 2010, Richard Sproat