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Linguistics 581

Introduction to Computational Linguistics

Natural Language Systems

From Speech to Meaning

This course will serve as an introduction to the field of computational linguistics, which includes aspects of speech recognition, natural language processing, information retrieval, and information extraction.


The course will use the textbook Speech and Natural Language Processing, by Dan Jurafsky and James Martin, available in the campus bookstore. There will be exercises for most of the chapters covered.

The course begins with an introduction to finite-state automata and some basic natural language applications; this is extended to finite-state transducers with applications in phonology and morphology. Other topics covered: basic concepts of speech processing, the Viterbi algorithm, ngram language models, part of speech tagging, context-free grammars and context-free parsing, word-sense disambiguation, and information retrieval.

The language used for programming exercises will be open. Students who took the corpus linguistics course in the fall will be welcome to use Java, Perl or Python.

Prerequisites and Grading

At least two linguistics courses or at least two programming or CS courses.

Grading will be based on exercises/projects and take-home midterms and finals.

Place and Time

TuTh 11:00-12:15 SH 316 (Sec 1)
Wed 4:00-6:40 SH 123 (SEC 2)

Office Hours

TuTh 12:30-1:30
Tu 3:30-4:30
TH 9:30-10:30

Contact Info

Mailing address:
Department of Linguistics and Oriental Languages
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7727
Telephone: (619) 594-0252
Office location: SHW, room 238

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