HPSG - Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar
[Staff] [Description] [Location/Time] [Readings] [Schedule] [Lab] [Announcements] [Assessment]

Linguistics 111
2005 Linguistic Institute, MIT/Harvard

Course Staff:

Ivan A. Sag (Stanford University) [sag at csli.stanford.edu]
Tom Wasow (Stanford University) [wasow at csli.stanford.edu]
Emily M. Bender (University of Washington) [ebender at u.washington.edu]

Resource Assistant: Raj Singh (singhr at MIT.EDU)

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Course Description:

This course presents a systematic introduction to the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) - a precisely formalized framework for grammatical analysis, whose `bare' phrase structures and constraint-based architecture fit particularly well with current research in human sentence processing and language learning. HPSG has not only provided interesting hypotheses about the nature of Universal Grammar, but also has led to the development of rapidly extensible, large-scale, internally consistent analyses of key problems in syntax, lexicon, and the syntax-semantics interface. Although this course will focus on English grammar and more general theoretical issues, HPSG has played/is currently playing a significant role in the development of language-processing technology, for example:

  • The DELPH-IN Consortium, an international collaboration involving researchers at Stanford U., Saarland U., DFKI, Cambridge U., U. of Sussex, NTT, Norwegian U. of Science and Technology, Tokyo U., U. of Oslo, and U. of Washington.
  • The Trale Project, an international consortium that includes participants from U. Tuebingen, Ohio State U., U. Toronto, and several other institutions.
  • Project Verbmobil, a seven-year (1993--2000) project funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Technology (BMBF).

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    Location and Time:

    Location: Bldg. 32, room 141
    Time: TTh 1:00-2:40

    Discussion Sections: Late afternoons, evenings, over drinks, arranged ad hoc.

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    Course Readings:

    Our Textbook (SWB) is:
    Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, by Ivan A. Sag, Thomas Wasow and Emily M. Bender. 2003. Stanford: CSLI Publications [Distributed by The University of Chicago Press]. Copies are available at the MIT Coop in Kendall Square.

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    The schedule of classes:
    28 JunePsycholinguistic Motivation SWB Ch.9, pp. 294-309
    Feature Structure Models SWB Ch.3, pp. 49-74.
    [Slides for 1st class]
    30 June Valence, Part of Speech and Phrasal ProjectionSWB Ch.4, pp. 93--122.
    Signs and CompositionalitySWB Ch. 5.
    [Slides for 2nd class]
    5 JulyOverviewSWB Ch. 6, pp. 165--191.
    Binding TheorySWB Ch. 7, pp. 203--215.
    Implementing HPSG[Implementing HPSG slides][Ch. 7 Slides]
    7 JulyThe LexiconSWB Ch. 8.
    [Ch. 8 Slides]
    12 JulyPassive, Raising, ControlSWB Ch. 10; Ch. 11, pp. 333--345; Ch. 12.
    [Slides for 5th class]
    14 JulyFiller-Gap ConstructionsSWB Ch. 14.
    [Slides for 6th class]
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    Optional Lab:

    This course has an optional lab component in which you will have the opportunity to implement a small grammar fragment for a language you are interested in on the basis of the LinGO Grammar Matrix. These grammar fragments will be capable of parsing and generating an interesting subset of the sentences of a language, while rejecting contrasting examples as ungrammatical.

    The relevant software will be installed on a small number of computers in a lab at MIT, but is also available for installation on personal laptops (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X 10.3).

    The lab will be led by the remote instructor (Emily M. Bender). Emily will be answering questions pertaining to the lab at this electronic bulletin board (UW EPost; instructions on using EPost).

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    Announcements (in reverse temporal order):

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    Course Assessment:

    Course grades will be based on the final exam, with extra credit given for in-class contributions.

    Explain (in HPSG terms) the grammatical deviance of each of the following five examples. Use at most three sentences for each explanation. Feel free to consult your textbook or class slides.

    Please email your final to sag@stanford.edu by 5 AM EDT on Friday, July 15 at the latest (earlier is better). SEND YOUR FINAL AS A PLAIN TEXT EMAIL MESSAGE. DO NOT SEND .DOC, .PDF, .RTF OR ANY OTHER KIND OF NON-ASCII FILE.

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    Last modified: Tue Jul 12 10:41:41 PDT 2005