LING 575 G: Topics in Computational Linguistics

Meeting Time: 
T 3:30pm - 5:50pm
MGH 238
Joint Sections: 
LING 575 A, LING 575 B
Gina-Anne Levow

Syllabus Description:

Course description: The course will cover the theory and practice of spoken dialog systems. The course will have readings and lectures on general techniques and issues in spoken dialog systems, and will use publicly available tools and toolkits to investigate spoken dialog systems. The target will be conversational systems that are more flexible than the typical flight status phone system. Students will work with the components of a typical spoken dialog system pipeline, including speech recognizer grammars, semantic interpretation for inputs, dialog managers and conversational design, and speech output. 


Textbooks:  There is no required textbook. Instead, the course readings will be drawn from contemporary articles and tutorials available online. Helpful background material can also be found in books such as:

  • (J&M) Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition (2009), 2nd edition, by Daniel Jurafsky and James Martin.  Here is the url for the 3rd version: Link (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • (SDS) Spoken Dialog SystemsKristiina Jokinen and Michael McTear, 2010. Available as E-book through the UW library web site. 


No specific prerequisites, though prior programming experience will be helpful, as are:

  • CSE 373 (Data Structures) or equivalent
  • Stat 394  (Probability and Statistics for CS) or equivalent
  • Programming in one or more of Java, Python, C/C++, or Perl
  • Linux/Unix commands
  • LING 570, LING 572


  • 50%: Homework Assignments and Project
  • 30%: In-Class Presentations
  • 20%: Class discussions (including reading questions, etc)


Homework assignments will include critical reading assignments and implementation tasks that are narrow in scope and allow you to gain experience with particular spoken dialog systems tools and components.


There will be oral presentations required during the term, including:


Projects may be completed either individually or in small groups (2-3). Examples of possible topics and prior course projects appear here NOTE: If you are taking this course to satisfy a Linguistics elective requirement, you must complete a project with a substantial linguistic analysis and a corresponding analytic term paper. Please let me know when you select your topic.

Here is a Tentative schedule, which also includes slides and recordings.

Catalog Description: 
In-depth study of a particular area of computational linguistics, with hands-on experience. Prerequisite: LING 570 and 571, or permission of instructor. Offered: WSp.
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:16pm