A very very brief introduction to linguistics 1

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A very, very brief introduction to linguistics 1 Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by

A very, very brief introduction to linguistics 1 Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

What is linguistics? The study of language in all its manifestations Usually focuses on

What is linguistics? The study of language in all its manifestations Usually focuses on spoken language CL often depends on written language Borders on computer science, psychology, medicine, sociology, law, history, mathematics, philosophy, gender studies, physics, politics… Has many fields covering very diverse areas 2 Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Phonetics studies the sounds used in spoken language What are their physical properties? How

Phonetics studies the sounds used in spoken language What are their physical properties? How are they produced? How are they perceived? Phonetic problems: 3 How to classify and describe sounds? What are the differences between English, German, French and Russian “r” sounds? What position does the tongue take when we produce “th”? How and why can you feel the difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants? CL: How to teach a computer to distinguish between sounds? Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Phonology studies the role sound plays in speech Abstracts away from purely acoustic properties

Phonology studies the role sound plays in speech Abstracts away from purely acoustic properties Looks at what distinct sounds (phonemes) there are in a language Minimal pairs: words differing in a single sound Free variation: sounds that can be pronounced differently without a change in meaning Allophones: sounds that are pronounced differently in different contexts Looks at stress, tone, intonation… Phonologic problems: 4 Why are homophones (weak-week, son-sun)? What are the rules behind pronounciation? CL: How do we tell the computer where to stress words? Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Morphology studies the structure of words What is a word? Minimal sound-meaning unit: morpheme

Morphology studies the structure of words What is a word? Minimal sound-meaning unit: morpheme Bound morphemes: prefixes, suffixes, inflections… Free morphemes: “words” Derivational morphology Construction of words from roots and affixes Inflectional morphology 5 inter+national international International + ize internationalize Internationalize + ation internationalization bottles Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Morphology Morphological problems: Ambiguity What can we find out about an unknown word? 6

Morphology Morphological problems: Ambiguity What can we find out about an unknown word? 6 What does „scarcity“ mean? unadd embiggens cromulent What are the rules for noun plural or 3 rd person singular verbs? CL: How to teach the computer to analyze words? Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Syntax studies the structure of sentences How can we put words together to get

Syntax studies the structure of sentences How can we put words together to get sentences? 7 Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. (N. Chomsky) How do we understand the meaning of a sentence given the meanings of its words? What syntactic theory is right? Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Syntax Syntactic problems: Ambiguity Control John and Alex and Chris and Alice are married.

Syntax Syntactic problems: Ambiguity Control John and Alex and Chris and Alice are married. “Garden paths” 8 I asked her to call Marta. I promised her to call Marta. Coordination The woman saw the man with the binoculars I made her duck The prime number few. The horse raced past the barn fell. The cotton clothing is made of grows in Mississippi. Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Semantics studies the meaning of utterances What meanings do words have? How does meaning

Semantics studies the meaning of utterances What meanings do words have? How does meaning change in different contexts? May be a question for progmatics… Semantic problems: Word sense ambiguity Scope ambiguity Every man loves a woman Co-reference and anaphora 9 Round, bank, on… Jim hit John, and after that he ran away. The two men met. After he hit him, John ran away. John loves his wife, and so does Jim. Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin

Pragmatics is the study of how more gets communicated than is said. What do

Pragmatics is the study of how more gets communicated than is said. What do we imply by an utterance? When is an utterance true or false? 10 “The current king of France is bald”. What do we intend by an utterance? “John regrets that he voted for Clinton”. “How old are you? ” – “Closer to 30 than to 20. ” “Could you pass me the salt? ” “It’s quite cold here, isn’t it? ” CL: Is not really capable of having pragmatics problems yet Computational Linguistics, NLL Riga 2008, by Pawel Sirotkin