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Department of Linguistics and Oriental Languages

Contents

Instructor

Goals

Text

Practice

Late Assignments

Group work

Attendance

Prerequisites

Grading

Outline

Place and Time

Class website

Contact Info

Mathematical Linguistics Syllabus

Linguistics 570


Instructor

Mark Gawron

Goals

The primary goal of the course is to acquaint students with a basic set of mathematical ideas that happen to be of use to linguists, but which are also useful in other disciplines, including computer science, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and information science.

The principle areas fall under the general heading of discrete mathematics, roughly the mathematics of qualitative rather than quantitative distinctions. We will begin by looking at the mathematics of collections of things (set theory) and we will worry about when two collections have the same number of objects, but we will not care very much what that number is. We will move on to mathematical systems in which one thing can be bigger than another, but we will not care by how much (lattice theory). And we will generalize the notion of mathematical operation beyond the realm of things you may be used to from your knowledge of arithmetic, looking at operations like rotate, flip, and father-of.

We will then move on to propositional logic and automata theory, taking a mathematical look at simple kinds of reasoning that computers can do. We will sometimes illustrate ideas with linguistic ideas, but our use of these ideas will presuppose only knowledge of language, not linguistics.

Required Text

Mathematical Methods in Linguistics. 1993. Partee, Barbara, Ter Meulen, Alice, and Wall, Robert E. Wall. Kluwer. Netherlands.

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Practice

There will be exercises from the text as well as some concocted elsewhere, for the purpose of improving our set of examples.

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Late Assignments

The general structure of the course is not well-suited to late assignments. Assignment solutions will be discussed in detail on the day they are turned in, and thus students who turn assignments in late will be at an advantage. However, to allow for some flexibility, late assignments will receive partial credit. Here is the lateness policy:

  • Up to one week late: 50% credit for assignment
  • More than one week late: not accepted

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Group work

Group work is encouraged on the assignments. The midterm and final should be completed without any help.

When turning in collaborative assignments, your collaborators should be identified on your paper.

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Attendance

Attendance is not a formal part of your grade.

However, be aware that hints on how to solve problems on the assignments, the midterms, and the final are handed out liberally in class. These hints will not be posted on the web page.

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Prerequisites and Grading

Prequisite: None.

Grading will be based on exercises/projects a take-home midterm and final.

  • midterm 30%
  • final 30%
  • Exercises: 40%

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Outline

Course Outline

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~gawron/mathling

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Contact Info

Mailing address:
Jean Mark Gawron
Department of Linguistics and Oriental Languages
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7727
Telephone: (619) 594-0252
Office Hours: Tu Th 16:00-17:30, BAM 321


Unix | Computational Linguistics Lab