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Computational Semantics seminar materials (615:535, S17)

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Computational semantics seminar


Welcome to the website for the Spring 2017 Seminar in Semantics!

This semester, we're taking a look at how natural language semanticists can exploit tools developed by computer scientists to structure semantic theory, and possibly develop more principled semantic architectures, with improved empirical coverage in various domains.

We'll see how monads (along with the related concepts of functors and applicatives), continuations, and type theory can be used to ground and enrich theories of indefinites (and indefiniteness), binding, quantification and scope, dynamics, focus, presupposition, supplementation, and (one hopes!) their interactions.

The coursework involves weekly readings, short weekly-ish problem sets at the outset (to help you consolidate understanding of new technical concepts), and a short term paper (10-15 pages), due at the conclusion of the class. I'll be in touch with enrolled students after Spring Break about paper topics.

Course materials

Course materials (including readings, slides, and exercises) can be downloaded by following the links below. You'll need a password to access some of the readings, which I'll supply to you via email.

Topic Reading Slides Exercises
Week 1 (Jan 18) Meaning as computation? -- here here
Week 2 (Jan 25) On the paths to alternatives Heim (2000, 2014) here here
Week 3 (Feb 1) Alternatives and binding Romero & Novel (2013) here here
Week 4 (Feb 8) The scope of alternatives Charlow (2017) (Sections 1-5) here here
Week 5 (Feb 15) (Mostly) static alternatives Charlow (2017) (Sections 6-8) here here
Week 6 (Feb 22) Dynamic alternatives I Dekker (1994)
Supplementary notes on dynamics
An interactive PLA calculator
here here
Week 7 (Mar 1) Dynamic alternatives II Charlow (2014: Ch 2) here --
Week 8 (Mar 8) Variable-free semantics Jacobson (1999) here --
Week 9 (Mar 22) Supplements AnderBois et al. (2015)
Optional: Brasoveanu (2013)
Optional²: Giorgolo & Asudeh (2012)
here --
Week 10 (Mar 29) Focus I Krifka (2006)
Optional: Rooth (1996)
here --
Week 11 (Apr 5) Focus II Review Week 10's slides here
Week 12 (Apr 12) Continuations Charlow (2014: §3.3)
Barker & Shan (2014: Ch. 1)
Week 13 (Apr 19) Continuations -> monads Review Week 12's slides
Piponi (2008)
Optional: Charlow (2014: §§3.4-3.5)
Week 14 (Apr 26) Proofs <-> programs Wadler (2015)
Thompson (1999: 1-15, 78-88)
Very optional: Benton et al. (1998)


Computational Semantics seminar materials (615:535, S17)






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