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TDT13 - Computational Semantics

(Semantikk for naturlig språk, 2017)


IDI > Education > Emner > TDT13 Computational Semantics

(Semantikk for naturlig språk, 2017)

Computational Semantics

(Semantikk for naturlig språk, 2017)

Given by Björn Gambäck.

The course consists of a set of regular lectures and one session with student presentations, as well as an exam (oral or written).

Note that the course is not only about Computational Semantics, but that the course content in general is tailored towards the needs of the students writing a Master Thesis in Language Technology or a related area. Other students are of course very welcome to follow the course, but are adviced to contact the lecturer beforehand.

This year we will in particular discuss:

  • introduction to language technology,
  • semantic representations,
  • sentiment analysis,
  • author profiling,
  • hate speech,
  • language evolution, and
  • computational creativity.
  • Course schedule

    The lecture schedule will tentatively be as follows:
    1. Wednesday 20.09, 09:15-11:00, 242: Introduction, Languages and Language Processing
    2. Wednesday 11.10, 14:15-16:00,  F3: Computational Semantics, Compositional Semantics and Semantic Representations
    3. Wednesday 25.10, 13:15-15:00, 242: Sentiment Analysis, Author Profiling and Language Classification
    4. Wednesday 08.11, 13:15-15:00, 242: Computational Creativity and Language Processing Applications
    5. Wednesday 22.11, 9-11 and 13-15, 122: Presentations

    Course material

    Recommended reading; available in the course's folder on DropBox (more articles can be added!)


  • Robert M. Seyfart, Dorothy L. Cheney & Peter Marler
    Monkey Responses to Three Different Alarm Calls: Evidence of Predator Classification and Semantic Communication
    Science 210(4471):801-803, Nov. 1980.
  • John Kimball
    Seven principles of surface structure parsing in natural language
    Cognition 2(1):15-47, 1973.
  • Simon Colton & Geraint A. Wiggins
    Computational Creativity: The Final Frontier?
    Proceedings of the 20th ECAI, pp.21-26, IOS Press, 2012.
  • Margaret A. Boden
    How Computational Creativity Began
    In Besold et al. (eds.) Computational Creativity Research: Towards Creative Machines, pp. v-xiii, Atlantis Press, 2015.
  • Books

  • Patrick Blackburn & Johan Bos
    Representation and Inference for Natural Language:
    A First Course in Computational Semantics.
    CSLI Publications, Stanford, California. 2005.
    [Chapters 1-2.]

  • Tom De Smedt
    Modelling Creativity: Case Studies in Python.
    University Press Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium. 2013.
    [Chapters 1 and 4-7, but all code examples and system evaluations can be glossed over.]
  • Bing Liu
    Sentiment Analysis and Opinion Mining
    Morgan & Claypool Publishers. 2012.
    [Chapters 1-2, 7 and 9 - the rest is background material.]
  • OR Bo Pang and Lillian Lee
    Opinion Mining and Sentiment Analysis
    Now Publishers. 2008.
    [Sections 1-4.]
  • Lecture Slides

    The oral exam will mainly be based on the slides from the four lectures; also available in the course's folder on DropBox.


    1. Oral exam 1.12 (ca 20 min), Room 315
    2. Oral presentation (10-15 min, plus ca 5 min for questions), given on 22.11 in the 122
      (each student needs to attend at least one 2-hour presentation slot and oppose one of the other presentations)
    3. together with a short essay (2 - 5 pages), handed in by 17.11
      (presentation/essay topic to be decided together with the examiner: see below)

    Possible essay topics would either be

    1. on a theme related to (computational) semantics or (computational linguistic) creativity
      (normally one connected to the student's master thesis topic) or
    2. revolve around a person who has had major influence on modern semantics and his/her theories.
    Examples of such persons:
  • John L. Austin
  • Noam Chomsky
  • Donald H. Davidson
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Umberto Eco
  • Charles J. Fillmore
  • Jerry A. Fodor
  • John R. Firth
  • Michael A. K. Halliday
  • Hans Kamp
  • George Lakoff
  • Jean-Francois Lyotard
  • Richard Montague
  • Steven Pinker
  • Bertrand A. W. Russell
  • John R. Searle
  • Ferdinand de Saussure
  • Michael Tomasello
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Visiting hour

    by appointment


    For nærmere informasjon om emnet, kontakt faglærer Björn Gambäck.