Computational Semantics Information
This page attempts to collect some basic information, online and otherwise,
computational semantics. It was
prompted by a query for information which Barbara Partee sent
out to a number of people. The responses as well as some additional
information were put together by
Please note: I compiled this around 2002-3, when I was an undergraduate.
It is woefully out of date, and was not really comprehensive at the time. I leave it up
because people seem to find it useful, but please keep these caveats in mind!
(An update is planned for some undetermined time in the future, as some of my
research is returning to this area.)
This page does not suppose to be a complete list of all the material
available. Ideally, though, this would be a decent place for someone to start
who wished to learn about computational semantics.
- What is Computational Semantics?
- Books, Specific and General
- Papers (mostly empty)
- Workshops and SIGs
- Courses (with information online)
Several people have tried to answer this; here are a few that I
- Matthew Stone has an
which attempts to answer this question.
intro to the oft-mentioned Blackburn and Bos book (see below) does
a good job.
- Patrick Blackburn has section titled
Computational Semantics on his
- I'm sure some other people have comments on their web sites, but google
hasn't helped me any more in this; any comments appreciated.
- One way of getting at this question is to look at calls for
papers, even though these may be oriented towards people who
know some answer. Here is an excerpt from the
CFP for IWCS4
(more information on conferences below):
Topics of interest for the workshop will be computational
aspects of formal semantic theories as well as theoretical issues
in building natural language understanding systems, including
systems where language is used in a multimedia setting.
Here is an excerpt from ICoS-3
Traditional inference tools (such as theorem provers and model
builders) are reaching new levels of sophistication and are now widely
and easily available. A wide variety of new tools (statistical and
probabilistic methods, ideas from the machine learning community) are
likely to be increasingly applied in computational semantics. Most
importantly of all, computational semantics seems to have reached the
stage where the exploration and development of inference is one of its
most pressing tasks - and there's a lot of interesting new work which
takes inferential issues seriously.
- (online) Patrick Blackburn and Johan Bos,
Representation and Inference for
a Natural Language, www.blackburnbos.org (this used to be
www.comsem.org but that domain got grabbed - thanks to Johan Bos for alerting
me to this). At this address is also a second book titled
Working with Discourse Representation Theory. (Suggested by
Per Anker Jensen,
Mark Steedman, and
Hans Kamp). It
should be noted that this is a draft form which is reportedly undergoing
heavy revision. The book includes code in prolog that is supposed to be
very nice to work with.
Additionally, several of
the people who recommended this
pointed out that it presupposes knowledge of Prolog - and pointed to the
online book by the same authors + Kristina Striegnitz, which can be found
Also for learning prolog, Reinhard Muskens
suggested: Ivan Bratko, Prolog Programming for Artificial
Intelligence, Addison-Wesley, 1986 (3rd edition 2000).
- (online) Gazdar and Mellish, Natural Language Processing in
Addison-Wesley, 1989. (suggested by Reinhard Muskens, as a general text,
though he points at that it is out of print. There is an online version
minus the figures at
location. Since this text is in prolog it may also be helpful towards
working with the Blackburn and Bos book.)
- Carpenter, Bob, Type-Logical Semantics, MIT Press, 1998. There is
more information here.
- K.-U. Carstensen, Ch. Ebert, C. Endriss, S. Jekat, R. Klabunde and H.
Langer (eds.), Computerlinguistik und Sprachtechnologie, Spektrum:
Heidelberg, Berlin, 2001. This book is in German, and has a chapter on
semantics. (Suggested by Hans Kamp)
- Manning and Schütze, Foundations of Statistical Natural Language
Processing, MIT Press, 1999. (the standard textbook for many NLP courses)
- Grosz, Sparck-Jones, and Webber, Readings in Natural Language
Processing, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1996. (suggested by Mark
- (online) Pereira and Shieber, Prolog and natural language analysis,
C S L I Publications, 1987. This book is
online for noncommercial
usage. (suggested by Mark Steedman)
- James Allen, Natural Language Understanding (2nd ed),
Benjamin Cummings, 1994. (suggested by Reinhard Muskens and Mark Steedman,
as a general text)
- Jurafsky and Martin, Speech and Language Processing, Prentice Hall,
2002. (has a short chapter on semantics)
Please recommend papers to me!
The Association for Computational
Linguistics is putting many papers online. This includes back issues
of Computational Linguistics, as well as various conference proceedings.
CoLing articles go all the way back to 1965, and ACL proceedings to 1979! There
is a lot of good stuff in here, some of it related to computational
For recent work, try the proceedings of various workshops below. Most
recently, I notice that ICoS-4 has papers online, and so does DiaBruck 2003.
- ACL has a
Special Interest Group on Computational Semantics (SIGSEM).
(suggested by Mark Steedman). Both of the below workshops were
endorsed by SIGSEM, and SIGSEM has a page with previous and upcoming
- There is a workshop on the semantics and pragmatics of dialogue
(DiaBruck), the topics for which are at the intersection of semantics and
computational linguistics. The website for the 7th of these, in 2003, has papers available.
- CFP One upcoming workshop is Computational Lexical Semantics 2004, in conjunction with HLT/NAACL. The paper submission deadline is Jan. 16.
- IWCS stands for the International Workshop in Computational
There have so far been five, of which the four most recent had web
pages. Unfortunately, the pages for 2 and 3 have vanished. I leave
the links in in case they show up:
There is also the
main web page for IWCS. (This is not to be confused with the International Wire and Cable Symposium.)
were workshops that took place in 1999, 2000, and 2001, and 2003
The acronym expansion is Inference in Computational Semantics.
The first of those links seems to be the homepage for
the whole workshop, and has links to some of the proceedings, which are
available online. The
program for ICoS-4 also has papers linked.
- Eurolan 2003 was a
summer school on the semantic web and language technology.
- The Blackburn and Bos books are web
sites as well as books.
- SIGSEM has a good list of resources
, including projects (some of which seem to be current), systems,
inference engines, relevent journals, and a few other things.
- There are some grammars that are worth knowing about. One of the more
well known ones is Head driven
Phrase Structure Grammar. A group (presumably among some others)
that does work in HPSG with relevence to computational semantics is the
LinGO group at Stanford.
There's also quite a bit more HPSG work online.
- A set of
from the university of Edinburgh. Last updated 1997. This was part of
the FraCaS project.
FraCaS "aimed at bringing about a convergence of current efforts in
computational semantics". There were a number of papers and
collections of information resulting from this which are
- The sequel to FraCaS is
TRINDI, or Task
oRiented INstructional Dialogue. They also have produced a number of
publications. (suggested by Hans Kamp)
- James Isaacs and Chris Potts are working on
formalizing the content and use of imperatives. One product of this is the
Game which attempts to simulate discourses involving
imperatives, using a dynamic logic based on Groenendijk's (1999) Logic of
- Bob Carpenter has a
for Type Logic Grammars.
- Searching the Linguist List
gives a variety of links about computational semantics.
- AAAI has a set of
- The ACL
NLP/CL Universe which is "a Web
catalog/search engine that is devoted to Natural Language Processing
and Computational Linguistics Web sites." It seems fairly
comprehensive and has been updated within the last several months. It
appears that users can add entries.
- A set of
Stanford. Some of these are dead, but many are not.
- A set of
links from a
project at MIT. (This may not be being maintained?)
- Also worth noting from FraCaS is a list of
Projects in or relating to (computational) semantics. Many of
these may be somewhat old.
- There is a
computational semantics course regularly taught at Tilburg University, by Harry Bunt and Reinhard Muskens, with several papers online.
This site, which is in german, looks to be a computational
linguistics course, including lecture notes. (suggested by Per Anker Jensen)
- Steven Bird's course
CIS 530: Computational
Linguistics, which has slides and assignments available. (suggested by
course in Computational Semantics was taught at Utrecht in Fall
2000. This has assignments and some course notes. (page in
- Another Computational Semantics
course was taught
at Technion at some point (and perhaps is still being taught?).
There are some exercises and solutions, but unfortunately no lecture
notes that I can see.
last updated Nov, 2003 by Kyle Rawlins