UMass Sesquicentennial


409 Formal Foundations of Linguistics (3 units)

Spring 2009

Meetings

TuTh 11:15 - 12:30 - Bartlett 201

Instructors

Christopher Potts []

Rajesh Bhatt []

Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of the theory of computation, to provide them with practical skills in information retrieval and text processing, and to give them hands-on experience grappling with the diversity of the world's languages. We will begin by studying information extraction from the Internet using search engines, and then we will explicitly introduce \tech{finite-state methods}, which allow for more nuanced search queries. We will tackle intricate problems in English morphosyntax, and we will work through the issues that arise when studying other languages. The final part of the course will focus on \tech{context-free grammars}, which are more powerful even than finite-state methods. Students will finish the course ready to extract subtle information from very large collections of documents.