Introduction to Programing for Linguists
Prof. Ray C. Dougherty
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The goal of this course is to introduce students to the problems involved in implementing ideas about generative grammar, in particular the ideas of Noam Chomsky and the minimalist program, into a computer program in a logical constraint based system, in particular into Prolog, short for Programming in Logic. We assume that the student knows little, if anything, about computational wazzu linguistics, programming, Prolog, or Lisp. The majority of the linguistic examples center on the structure of the lexicon and the content of lexical items in a logical constraint based grammar in which all structure is projected from the lexicon by general logical principles and almost all constraints are defined on derivational principles not on structural configurations. This term we will write a Prolog computer program (lexicon and principles of combination) that will pair a time expression, such as on Monday July fourth nineteen hundred and seventy at six fifteen in the evening with a semantic/logical representation in terms of a twenty four hour clock and a twelve month solar calendar. We discuss computerized translations between languages with the same calendar (French, German, English) and languages with different (solar versus lunar) calendars, such as Hebrew and Chinese. See the documents:
BACKGROUND REQUIREMENTS: None. We assume that students are unfamiliar with the concepts (level, derivation, merge, morphology, etc) the minimalist program and know almost nothing about the computer language Prolog.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: The requirements are detailed in the document: Course Final Project. Each student will write a Prolog program to pair time expressions in some language (English, French, German Hebrew...) with time and date expressions in terms of a twenty four hour clock and a Gregorian calendar (Month, Date, Hour, Minute, Year). We will go over the assignment and discuss it at length in the course.
COMPUTER ACCOUNT: Each student registered for the class will have an account on the ACF4 Unix Vax and accounts to the IBM PC and Macintosh Labs. These are connected to the WWW.BOOKS:
Many books, articles, and other readings will be placed on reserve in Bobst Library and in the Linguistics
Department Library, 719 Broadway, Fifth Floor. Many, perhaps most, of the readings are available on the World Wide Web
and can be downloaded by students. You will learn to use the WWW browser.
EXAMS: There are no examinations. There are four assignments culminating in a final project.