Course Description

This course covers algorithms for associating deep or elaborated linguistic structures with naturally occurring data, covering parsing, semantics, and discourse.

Days Time Location
Monday and Wednesday 1:00 - 2:20 PM Gould 435

Teaching Staff

Role Name Office Office Hours
Instructor Shane Steinert-Threlkeld Guggenheim 418-D (and Zoom) Thursday, 2:30-4:30PM (or by appointment)
Teaching Assistant Yuanhe Tian Guggenheim 417 (the Treehouse) Monday, 2:30 - 3:30PM; Friday, 9:30-10:30AM


The course textbook is Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition, 2nd edition, by Daniel Jurafsky and James Martin.

A copy of the book is also on reserve in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Click here for more information.

N.B.: The authors have a nearly-complete draft of the 3rd edition available online. Essentially every chapter that we use in this course has a corresponding version in that edition. The chapters referenced below are from the 2nd edition, but you can find the corresponding chapter in the 3rd edition either by using the website for the 3rd or by looking at the detailed table of contents on the Amazon page for the 2nd edition or here.


  • CSE 373 (Data Structures) or Equivalent
  • MATH/STAT 394 (Intro to Probability) or Equivalent
  • Formal grammars, languages, and automata
  • Programming in one or more of Java, Python, C/C++, or Perl
  • Linux/Unix Commands

Course Resources

N.B.: All homework grading will take place on the patas cluster using Condor, so your code must run there. I strongly encourage you to ensure you have an account set up by the time of the first course meeting.


Unless explicitly mentioned below, the shared policies of the LING 57x course series apply to this course. Please read those policies for more information.


  • 100%: Homework Assignments
  • Up to 2% adjustment for significant in-class or discussion participation


As per the policy above, all communication outside of the classroom should take place on Canvas. You can expect responses from teaching staff within 48 hours, but only during normal business hours, and excluding weekends.

N.B.: while CLMS students have a private Slack channel, I strongly encourage questions concerning course content and assignments to be posted to the Canvas discussion board, for two reasons. (i) Teaching staff will not look at Canvas, so misinformation can spread. (ii) Not every student in the course is in the CLMS program, but they deserve to be included in course discussions and likely have many of the same questions.

Religious Accommodation

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (

Access and Accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.


Call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 anytime – no matter where you work or study – to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus’s team of caring professionals will provide individualized support, while discussing short- and long-term solutions and connecting you with additional resources when requested.


Date Topics Jurafsky & Martin Additional Readings Assignment out Slides
Sept 25 Introduction; Syntax Chapter 1, 12 Patas and Condor HW #1
Due Oct 2
Sept 30 CFGs and Parsing Chapter 12, 13.1-13.3   .pdf
Oct 2 CKY; CNF Chapter 13.4.1   HW #2
Due Oct 9
Oct 7 Parsing: CKY, PCFGs Chapter 13.4.1; 14.1     .pdf
Oct 9 PCFGs: Algorithms and Evaluation
Earley parsing
Chapter 14.1-14.3; 14.7
Chapter 13.4.2
  HW #3
Due Oct 16
Oct 14 PCFGs: issues and improvement Chapter 14.4 - 14.6     .pdf
Oct 16 Dependency Parsing Chapter 12.7
SLP 3: Chapter 15
de Marneffe et al, 2006
McDonald et al, 2005
HW #4
Due Oct 23
Oct 21 Dependency Parsing (cont'd) + Features Chapter 15-15.4
SLP 3: Chapter 15
Oct 23 Semantics Intro Chapter 17   HW #5
Due Oct 30
[practice solution]
Oct 28 Semantics (cont'd) Chapter 15.5-15.7; 17, 18   .pdf
Oct 30 More Lambda Calculus
Lexical Semantics
Chapter 18.2 Blackburn & Bos, 1999, 2.3–2.4 HW #6
Due Nov 6
Nov 4 Distributional semantics, I Chapter 19.1-19.3, 20.1-20.4, 20.7, 20.10   .pdf
Nov 6 Distributional semantics, II Chapter 20 The Illustrated word2vec HW #7
Due Nov 13
Nov 11 Veterans Day: No class
Nov 13 Thesaurus similarity for WSD Chapter 19.4, 20.6, 20.9, 20.10 Resnik WSD, esp. Sec 5.1 HW #8
Due Nov 20
Nov 18 Semantic Role Labeling Chapter 19.4, 20.4; 21.0 Jurafsky & Gildea, 2002, pp. 1-19. .pdf
Nov 20 Computational Discourse Reference Chapter 21.4-21.8 Hobbs 1978 HW #9
Due Dec 4
Nov 25 Computational Discourse Structure Chapter 21.1-21.3 .pdf
Nov 27 No Class
Dec 2 Wrap-up (I): case study + current papers       .pdf
Dec 4 Wrap-up (II): semi-supervised learning + summary       .pdf