This is an introductory course on natural language semantics.
The course has two goals:
On the practical side, students will learn to reason with and use deductive systems, and build grammars for computing the "meaning" of fragments of language. Both classroom lectures and computer laboratory exercises to reinforce the material will be used. Syllabus See Lecture 1 notes. Grading
Email List To be hosted at listserv.arizona.edu The name of the list is LING364@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
Software We will use SWIProlog (freely available) in the computer laboratory classes. 
Instructor: Sandiway Fong sandiway@email.arizona.edu
Office (temporary): RM 308 Douglass


Date  Lecture Notes  Number of Slides 
Topics  

Powerpoint  
1/12  lecture1.pdf  lecture1.ppt  26  Administrivia and organizational meeting. Reading 1 handed out. 
1/17  lecture2.pdf  lecture2.ppt  21  Reading 1: Introduction to what is meaning? "The fundamental question". Short quiz 1. 
1/19  lecture3.pdf  lecture3.ppt  31  Computer laboratory class in SBSRI ICL (Social Sciences 224). Introduction to using SWIProlog. Homework 1. 
1/24  lecture4.pdf  lecture4.ppt  22  Review of Prolog introduction. Demo of simple question answering system we'll be building. Syntax. 
1/26  lecture5.pdf  lecture5.ppt  34  Formal grammars. Prolog's Definite Clause Grammar (DCG). Chapter 2: Putting a Meaning Together from Pieces. Quiz. 
1/31  lecture6.pdf  lecture6.ppt  19  Lab Class announcement. Quiz Answers. Compositionality. Idiomatic interpretation. DCG: adding in phrase structure. Adding in semantics. 
Date  Lecture Notes  Number of Slides 
Topics  

Powerpoint  
2/2  lecture7.pdf  lecture7.ppt  24  Modifying basic DCG to compute phrase structure and meanings. Extra lab exercise. 
2/7  lecture8.pdf  lecture8.ppt  22  Homework 1 Review. Chapter 3 Reading handed out. Homework 2. 
2/9  lecture9.pdf  lecture9.ppt  20  Recursion and grammar rules. Discussion of Chapter 3: More on Predicates. First mention of Lambda Calculus. Quiz 3. Extra lab session for Homework 2 exercises 1 through 3. 
2/14  lecture10.pdf  lecture10.ppt  14  The Lambda Calculus Lecture. Betareduction. Animated examples and comparison with Prolog notation. Homework 2 deadline extended to Thursday. 
2/16  lecture11.pdf  lecture11.ppt  13  Computer Lab class (SS 224). Homework 2 due at midnight. 
2/21  lecture12.pdf  lecture12.ppt  13  Homework 2 Review. More lambda calculus. Semantic of Adjectives. Chapter 4: Modifiers. 
2/23  lecture13.pdf  lecture13.ppt  13  Computer Lab class (SS 224). Homework 3: Meaning grammar and possible worlds, relative clauses and adjectives. 
2/28  lecture14.pdf  lecture14.ppt  16  Adverbials. Event view and nonevent (mapping) view. 
Date  Lecture Notes  Number of Slides 
Topics  

Powerpoint  
3/2  lecture15.pdf  lecture15.ppt  (None)  Computer Lab class: Homework #3 Help. 
3/7  lecture16.pdf  lecture16.ppt  21  Homework #3 Review. Chapter 5: Complexities of Referring Expressions handout. 
3/9  lecture17.pdf  lecture17.ppt  Computer Lab class: Chapter 5 Exercises. Quiz 4.
Grammar: g17.pl 

3/14  Spring break: no class.  
3/16  Spring break: no class.  
3/21  lecture18.pdf  lecture18.ppt  22  Quiz 4 Review. Homework 4. Chapter 5: Reference. Plurals. 
3/23  No class. Computer Lab is reserved.  
3/28  lecture19.pdf  lecture19.ppt  15  Chapter 5 continued: Bare plurals. Kinds. Anaphors and Pronouns. 
3/30  lecture20.pdf  lecture20.ppt  19  (Updated 6pm 3/30) Chapter 6: Quantifiers. Generalized Quantifiers: lambda calculusstyle, and set theoretic style. Truth tables. Prolog implementation. 
Date  Lecture Notes  Number of Slides 
Topics  

Powerpoint  
4/4  lecture21.pdf  lecture21.ppt  24  Translation of Universally Quantified expressions into Prolog. De Morgan's rule. Negative Polarity Items (NPIs). 
4/6  lecture22.pdf  lecture22.ppt  22  (Updated 4/6 (9:47pm) Homework 5. Computer Lab Class. Other Generalized Quantifiers. 
4/11  lecture23.pdf  lecture23.ppt  22  Homework 4 review. Upwards and downwards entailment: every and Negative Polarity Items (NPI). 
4/13  lecture24.pdf  lecture24.ppt  13  Quiz 5 review. Hints for Homework 5. 
4/18  lecture25.pdf  lecture25.ppt  21  Homework 5 review. New handout. Tense: Reichenbach's S,E and R. Relations and time intervals. Past tense. Simple present tense. 
4/20  lecture26.pdf  lecture26.ppt  13  More on tense. Aspectual classification of verbs. Quiz 6. 
4/25  Go to ECE lecture. 2:00pm. Student Union: Kiva.  
4/27  lecture27.pdf  lecture27.ppt  17  Computer lab class (Social Sciences 224). Homework 6: Time and
Tense. Inferencing with time intervals. Consistency detection.
Note: Due date is next Tuesday! 
Date  Lecture Notes  Number of Slides 
Topics  

Powerpoint  
5/2  lecture28.pdf  lecture28.ppt  26  Grading. Homework 6 Review. Takehome final homework. 