This is the schedule for Advanced Seminar in Computational Linguistics: Computational Models of Human Parsing, Fall 2016.

August 31, 2016. Thinking computationally about parsing.

After some administrivial and general preliminaries, we'll begin by looking at how the parsing problem is introduced in computational linguistics. In the process of looking at a textbook NLP introduction to syntactic parsing, we'll make sure everyone gets up to speed on some core computational concepts like search, time and space complexity, formal description of parsing algorithms. We'll also include discussion of computational modeling a bit more generally, assisted by Marr's levels of description.


Optional homework

To really solidify your understanding of top down and bottom up parsing, I recommend you work your way through the top-down example on pages 7-9 of Shieber et al., and then see if you can understand the bottom-up shift-reduce parser and work through the example on pages 10-11 without first looking at the answer.

If you want to get hands on, a good starting point would be Chapter 8, Analyzing Sentence Structure from the NLTK (Natural Language Toolkit) book. NLTK is a suite of open source Python modules, data sets and tutorials supporting research and development in natural language processing and it can be very useful for (self-)learning.

Optional background

There is, of course, a voluminous literature in psycholinguistics discussing parsing from a computational angle, albeit not computational modeling per se. An early review touching on many of the major issues from a psycholinguistic perspective is and a more current example reviewing some relevant issues, focused on comprehension of relative clauses, is

September 7, 2016. Parsing and memory requirements


September 14, 2016. Syntactic ambiguity


September 21, 2016. Syntactic ambiguity (cont'd)


Not about ambiguity but it's come up a number of times so let's have it on the reading list somewhere!

September 28, 2016. Probabilistic modeling: performance and competence


October 5, 2016. Modeling working memory in parsing


Also of interest
October 12, 2016.

No class: Yom Kippur

October 19, 2016. Incrementality, connectedness, and prediction


Also of interest
October 26, 2016. Incrementality, connectedness, and prediction (cont'd)


November 2, 2016.

Project discussions

November 9, 2016.

Note late-breaking change to this week's reading


Also of interest:

November 16, 2016. Minimalism and parsing

Class will only go until 3:30pm today so that everyone can attend the first Baggett lecture.

We are covering this topic spread out over two class sessions. Today's session is a ramping-up, and then on November 30th we'll look at Stabler 2013 in depth.


November 23, 2016.

No class. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30, 2016. Minimalism and parsing, continued.


Also of interest (particularly the first one): Optional background:
December 7, 2016. Neural network language processing

This week we'll be doing more of an introduction to a class of methods, rather than a deep dive into a specific piece of research about computational modeling of human parsing.


Of related interest

Philip Resnik, Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies

Department of Linguistics
1401 Marie Mount Hall            UMIACS phone: (301) 405-6760       
University of Maryland           Linguistics phone: (301) 405-8903
College Park, MD 20742 USA	   Fax: (301) 314-2644 / (301) 405-7104	   E-mail: resnik AT umd _DOT.GOES.HERE_ edu