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83800 Methods in Computational Linguistics II
Monday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Sakas
This is the second of a two-part course sequence to train students with a linguistics background in the core methodologies of computational linguistics. Successful completion of this two-course sequence will enable students to take graduate-level elective courses in computational linguistics; both courses are offered by the Graduate Center's Linguistics Program, as well as courses offered by the Computer Science Program. This course (Methods in Computational Linguistics II) will provide training in: the use of computational libraries built specifically for computational linguistics, the techniques used in performing computational analyses of electronic natural language corpora, and the foundational mathematics, probabilistic methods and statistics that are the backbone of modern computational linguistics. The course will go significantly beyond a survey of these topics. By completing the Methods in Computational Linguistics sequence, at the end of the first year, Computational Linguistics Master's students will have the skills they need to engage in further study of state-of-the-art topics in natural language processing.
83600 Language Technology
Monday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Huenerfauth
Applications of speech and language processing are found everywhere today. Automated telephone systems, for example, incorporate voice recognition and synthesis. This seminar will explore how computers deal with natural language in such areas as speech recognition, speech generation, and machine translation. Intended as an introduction to the field, the course will survey a range of methodologies in speech and language processing and will cover the basic components of natural language systems, including the lexicon, syntax and parsing, semantic analysis and representation, discourse processing, and pragmatics.
71500 Practical Morphology: a field-based perspective
Monday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Kaufman
Due to modernization and other social pressures, more than half of the 7,000 languages spoken today throughout the world are estimated to disappear within the century. It has thus become a matter of great urgency to document endangered languages as their disappearance represents an ever increasing loss for both science and human cultural heritage.
In this class, we will work on endangered and marginalized languages with local speakers in NYC, focusing on the first leg of the journey from speech signal to linguistic analysis. In particular, we will be examining the domain of morphology from the practical perspective of linguistic description. Morphological analysis will thus be tackled through hands-on work with speakers of endangered languages. By the end of the class, it is expected that students will have the tools to provide a rich morphological annotation for a completely unfamiliar language.
Although morphological annotation is, by definition, a descriptive tool, it also involves a high degree of theoretical analysis. An obvious example involves our choice of case labels, e.g. NOM, ACC, GEN, ERG, etc. Less obvious examples involve the issues surrounding morphological constituency, null morphs, portmanteau morphs and syncretism, to name a few. The larger theoretical and typological questions which we will seek to answer here are: What types of morphemes and morphological phenomena exist in the languages of the world and how are they best represented in an informative, scientific annotation system? A related concern is the creation of a universal ontology of morphological categories, a project whose recent developments and future prospects will also be covered.
73600 Phonology I Practicum
Monday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 1 credits, TBA
76500 Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis
Tuesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Fiengo
Text: Levinson, Stephen. Pragmatics Cambridge University Press.
Reader: Davis, Steven. Pragmatics Oxford University Press.
This course attempts to provide the student with an introduction to the study of language use, concentrating on the seminal books and articles in the field. The readings given below will certainly be covered; other readings will be suggested during the semester. There will be a take-home written exam at the end of the course, consisting of short essays. If, however, the student wishes to write a research paper on some topic covered in the course, that may substitute for the written exam.
Levinson, Chapter 1
Strawson, 'On referring'
2 Speech Act Theory
Levinson, Chapter 5.
Austin, How to do things with words
Austin, 'How to talk - some simple ways' in Austin's Philosophical Papers
3. Conversational Implicature
Levinson, Chapter 6
Grice, 'Logic and Conversation,' Davis 19.
Levinson, Chapter 4
Frege, 'On sense and reference'
Russell, 'On denoting'
Stalnaker, 'Pragmatic Presuppositions,' Davis 27.
5 Speaker meaning and speaker reference
Donnellan, Reference and Definite Descriptions, Davis 3
Kripke, Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference, Davis 5
6. Reference, Anaphora, and Deixis
Levinson, Chapter 2
72300 Semantics I
Tuesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Li
An introduction to Montague semantics, also known as model-theoretic semantics or truth conditional semantics. The course covers some of the philosophical background as well as the intersection of semantics with syntax and pragmatics. Specific topics include: definitions of truth, predicate logic, quantification, and intensionality. The course assumes a bit of syntax but no mathematical or logical background. The text is Meaning and Grammar, 2nd edition (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet, MIT Press). Students will also be encouraged to look at Logic, Language, and Meaning (L T F Gamut, Chicago Press) as well as other texts. The course is evaluated with a series of assignments during the semester (50%) and a final take-home assignment (50%).
86600 Second Language and Loanword Phonology
Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Bradley and Prof Martohardjono
Researchers and teachers in second language acquisition standardly remark on the difficulties experienced by adult learners with the pronunciation of a target language, and note that "foreign accent", however that might be defined, can represent a last and singularly frustrating barrier to native-like command.
This participatory seminar course, chiefly surveying the recent literature, aims to equip students to be "intelligent consumers" (and prospectively, skilled practitioners) of research focused on the interplay of first and second language phonologies, as these are tempered by considerations of biases in production/perception and universal grammar. We begin by briefly reviewing traditional frameworks, which emphasizes maturational constraints on the acquisition of segmental inventories, and proceed to considerations taking in the phonological system to be acquired, more broadly construed. We explore also a complementary literature in loanword phonology, which explores language-specific variation in the adaptations imposed on word-forms borrowed into a speaker's native language.
The course presupposes no more than a modest background in phonology, e.g., Phonology I (LING 71300). No textbook is assigned, and we will instead make use of an electronic reserves archive drawing from the research literature. Assessment will be based on students' in-class presentations and associated writing assignments (505), and a final term-paper; the latter may take the form of a research proposal or the critical evaluation of published research relating to a topic of interest.
81500 Advanced Syntax Seminar
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof den Dikken
73700 Syntax II Practicum
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 1 credits, TBA
86200 Second Language Literacy Seminar
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Klein
This reading seminar will focus on non-native language (NNL) reading development among children and adults. We study general theories of and research in native language and NNL reading development. We will focus on the specific issues related to NNL reading, including the influence of native language reading processes and skills, the contributions of lexical and syntactic processes, the effects of a learner's NNL oral proficiency, and the influence on reading of orthographic differences between the native and the developing NNL. The course is open to new as well as advanced students of literacy, with opportunities for proposing or carrying out a research project.
79100 Instrumental Linguistic Meaning and Columbia-School Grammar
Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 3 credits, Prof Huffman
Download the course description here.
72200 Syntax II
(cross-listed with Ling 736, Syntax II Practicum)
Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 3 credits, Prof den Dikken
The prerequisite for this course is LING 72100 (Syntax I)
From Principles-and-Parameters Theory to Minimalism
Taking the end-point of Syntax I as a starting-point (and as a prerequisite for registration), this course takes its participants from Chomsky's (1981) original Government-Binding Theory all the way to the most recent incarnation of the principles-and-parameters approach to generative grammar: the minimalist program (Chomsky 1995). Along the way, it addresses, among other things: (i) Lasnik & Saito's (1984) theory of "gamma-marking" and intermediate trace deletion at LF, (ii) Chomsky's (1986-Barriers) densely successive-cyclic derivations for A'-movement via intermediate VP-adjunction, (iii) his unification of the theories of government and bounding, (iv) his analysis of A-movement and its dependency on head-chains, (v) the perspective on the general interdependency of A-movement and head-movement that the "equidistance" based theory of locality in Chomsky (1993) gives rise to, (vi) the general premises of the minimalist program of Chomsky (1993) and Chomsky (1995), (vii) the reduction of the phrase-structure component of the theory ("bare phrase structure"), and (viii) the connection between hierarchical relationships between constituents and their linear sequencing ("antisymmetry"; Kayne 1994).
The course presupposes a solid command of the issues addressed in Syntax I (LING 72100), but no specific knowledge of syntactic theory beyond that point.
The Haegeman (1994) textbook that was used for Syntax I will continue to be used in the first weeks of classes; beyond that point, we will rely primarily on Chomsky (1995), The Minimalist Program (MIT Press) and materials that will be provided in class.
71300 Phonology I
Thursday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Bradley
This course, assuming no more than general familiarity with phonological concepts, offers an intensive introduction to the formal apparatus of generative phonology, with an emphasis the development of fluency in analyzing phonological data. The presentation of material in class therefore assumes concurrent registration in the associated practicum (Ling 73600: Phonology Practicum, Monday 6:30–8:30 p.m., 1 credit).
The basics of phonological description and theory –– inventories, distinctive features, natural classes, alternations, levels of representation, rule formulation -- are first introduced within the linear framework of classic generative phonology. With these basics in place, we motivate additions to the formalism -- feature geometry, underspecification, autosegmental architecture , metrical representation –– in terms of their better capture of common phonological phenomena. Finally, we review an altogether different analytic framework, Optimality Theory.
Kenstowicz, M. (1994). Phonology in Generative Grammar. Cambridge MA: Blackwell.
Roca, I., & Johnson, W. (1999). A Workbook in Phonology. Malden MA: Blackwell.
Although a course in linguistic phonetics is not a prerequisite for the course –– because phonology is not phonetics –– students without prior exposure may benefit from a review of basic notions and terminology. To this end, copies of Chapters 1, 3 and 5 of Roca and Johnson's (1999) "A Course in Phonology" (an undergraduate text) are recommended. See the department's readings cabinet.
Regular homework assignments (phonology problem sets), plus mid-term and final take-home examinations.
73800 Semantics I Practicum
TBA, 1 credits, TBA
79400 Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics
Tuesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof. Makihara
Language is one of the most important resources in the conduct of our social life. Linguistic behavior is the central focus of many social settings, and it is also on linguistic evidence that we base many of our evaluations of the world around us. Yet attitudes toward language and how we use language are highly dependent on social and cultural factors, which also influence how and why language changes. This course is an introduction to linguistic anthropology (the study of the relationship between language and culture and of the use of languages in socio-cultural context). We will examine the nature of language, its role in our social life, and linguistic and anthropological theory and methodology through reading ethnographic and sociolinguistic case studies and discourse analyses. Topics examined include: linguistic and communicative competence, linguistic structure and use, language universals, linguistic relativity, language acquisition and socialization, verbal politeness, the relationship between language change and variation, gender, ethnicity and nationalism, language and political economy, bilingualism, and linguistic ideology.
Tuesday 4:15 - 6:15pm, 3 credits, Prof Orenstein
79200 Corss-language differences speech perception and production
Monday 6:30 - 8:30pm, 3 credits, Prof Strange
This seminar is designed to acquaint students with the empirical methods used to investigate the influence of language-specific phonological experience on the perception and production of speech segments and sequences, within the framework of recent psycholinguistic theories of first and second language phonetic/phonological acquisition. Languages differ in their phoneme inventories (distinctive speech sound classes), allophonic variation (phonetic realization of phonemes in different contexts), phonotactic rules (syllable structure constraints) and phonological processes (e.g. regressive voicing assimilation) across word boundaries. Cross-language perception studies have shown that adults have difficulty differentiating many (but not all) segments/sequences that do not occur in their native language and cannot use (some) non-native allophonic cues for word segmentation. Developmental research has shown that, while young infants have language-universal phonetic discrimination abilities, perceptual processing strategies are reorganized very early on in the course of first language acquisition, leading to language-specific patterns of perception of segments/sequences by older infants. These learned patterns of language-specific perception lead to perception and production difficulties when children and adults begin to acquire a second language (L2), some of which may be very long lasting.
Students will read chapters/monographs presenting current theories of first and second language speech perception (e.g., Werker's PRIMIR, Kuhl's Neural Commitment Model, Best and Tyler's Perceptual Assimilation Model - L2, Flege's Speech Learning Model, Strange and Shafer's Automatic Selective Perception model) and review the classic empirical literature from which these theories were developed. They will then read and critique very recent behavioral and brain research performed within each of these frameworks, with special emphasis on issues of research design and methodology. The final project will consist of a research proposal in their chosen area of investigation. Emphasis on 1st language (developmental), bilingual, or (adult) L2 phonetic/phonological acquisition will depend on the interests of the students.
79500 (cross-listed with SPAN80100) Seminar on Language and Identity
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:15pm, 3 credits, Prof Callahan
In this course we will examine the role of language in the definition and construction of individual and group identity. Our study will be informed by theoretical perspectives including intergroup theory (Giles and Johnson), acts of identity (Le Page and Tabouret-Keller), negotiation and performance of identity (Blackledge and Pavlenko; Doran), and subject positioning (Davies and Harre). Readings and discussions will revolve around three main areas: language, race, and ethnicity; native vs. non-native speakerhood; and language education. Some of the questions we will consider are: Can one be a member of a certain ethnic group without speaking the language associated with that group? Can linguistic competence override racial or ethnic labels and vice versa? What criteria define native speakerhood? How does learning another language affect an individual's sense of identity? How does an individual's identity construction affect second language acquisition? In which language should students be taught? Which variety of a language should students learn? What is a heritage language speaker? What role does the heritage language play in a speaker's identity? Does language loss cause a loss of identity? Class will be conducted in English. Written work will be accepted in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English.
89900 Independent Research, 1-6 credits
90000 Dissertation Supervision, Level 3 PhD Students Only, 1 credit