Graduate School of Language Technology in Finland

Kieliteknologian valtakunnallinen tutkijakoulu - Språkteknologiska forskarskolan i Finland

Combined Course on Information Structure and Combinatorial Categorial Grammar


Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová and Geert-Jan M. Kruijff
(Dept. of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics, Saarland University)


Department of General Linguistics
Siltavuorenpenger 20 A


4 - 8 April 2005

Course description

This course comprises two complementary subcourses that are held at the same location during the same time period. Although the topics of the subcourses are quite different, the topics have a common and interesting intersection: it is possible to add information structure as an additional layer to recent versions of combinatorial categorial grammars. The combined course make students acquanted with information structure modelling on one hand and combinatorial categorial grammar on the other hand. This will be an excellent starting point for studying how discourse processing and syntax meets each other.

Modeling Information Structure in Discourse and Dialog Processing (Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová)

Information Structure (IS) concerns structural and semantic properties of utterances reflecting their communicative intentions and their relation to discourse context. Among the means to realize IS in many languages are word order, intonation and marked syntactic constructions, although languages differ in how they employ them.

Modelling these phenomena and their interaction in the grammar requires understanding IS and its role in discourse. The goal of the course is to help the participants to orient themselves in the existing work on Information Structure (IS) and to inspire them to apply it. We will give an introduction, survey work employing IS in NLP systems, and sketch future challenges. Hands-on experience will be included in the form of corpus analysis or as system implementation exercises.

Recent Advances in Combinatory Categorial Grammar (Geert-Jan M. Kruijff)

Categorial grammar provides a lexicalized perspective on the modeling of natural language grammar: Each expression is assigned a category which specifies how that expression can figure syntactically in larger grammatical expressions, and how the meaning of the expression contributes to the meaning of the larger expression.

In this course, we discuss recent advances in one particular tradition in categorial grammar, namely Combinatory Categorial Grammar. We look in detail at various syntactic phenomena like extraction and coordination, and discuss how we can build a dependency-based "flat" semantics for an expression. Hands-on experience will be included in the form of grammar implementation exercises, and where possible we will illustrate actual components built for dialogue systems and embodied cognitive agents ("talking robots").

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