Language Technology

Nestor Site



This site accompanies the "language" half of the course "Taal- en Spraaktechnologie" (Language and Speech Technology"). The part on language technology focuses on the applications of techniques in computational linguistics, where "application" is understood broadly, encompassing both practical and commercial applications, where one attempts to do something practically useful with the technology, but also scientific applications, where one applies technology in order to satisfy scientific curiosity.

Nederlandse Beschrijving (OCASYS)


The course is designed to give students a broad view of current language technology with some background on how it has developed. Focus points will be the need for corpora and the need for evaluation, with case studies on practical applications in computer-assisted language learning, information extraction and machine translation, and applications to scientific questions in first and second language acquisition and in language variation.

At the end of this course students should be able to evaluate reports on language technology critically, especially in the areas of the case studies.


See literature schedule.

Book (Background Material)

Ron Cole, Joseph Mariani, Hans Uszkoreit, Giovanni Batista Varile, Annie Zaenen, Antonio Zampolli, and Victor Zue The State of the Art in Human Language Technology Cambridge University Press, 1997. Web Version available here.

Course Coordinator

John Nerbonne,, H1311.436
Office Hours: Mon. 15:30-16:30 (after lecture)

Meeting Times (2009)

Lecture: Mon. 13:15-15:00 pm V 5161.0267

Practical Sessions

There is a separate course "Practicum in Taal- en Spraaktechnologie" in the second half of the fall semester. Students must register separately for that course in the normal way (i.e. not through the instructor of this course).

Exam, Grading

The grade will be based on a written examination, to be held on Mon., Oct. 26, 2009 from 9 am to 12 noon in the Examenhal. There is an opportunity to retake the exam on Thur. Jan 14, 2:00 pm to 5:00, also in the Examenhal.

See the list of example exam questions as an indication of the contents of the exam.


Week Date Theme Lecturer Sheets Remarks
1. 31 Aug Why Language Technology? John Nerbonne Introduction
Language Contact John Nerbonne Foreigner Talk
2. 7 Sept. Habeas Corpus! John Nerbonne Corpora
3. 14 Sept. Discourse Jennifer Spenader Discourse
4. 21 Sept. 1st Language Acquisition Çagri Çötelkin Simulating Acquisition
Hartmut Fitz Syntax Acquisition
5. 28 Sept. Machine Translation Gideon Kotzé Machine Translation 1950's MT
Information Extraction John Nerbonne Extracting Terminologies
6. 5 Oct. Generation Daniel de Kok Fluent Generation
Variation Martijn Wieling Linguistic Varieties
6+ !Thurs.! 8 Oct. Exam Preparation Example questions
V 5161.0253
9. Mon. 26 Oct. Exam Examenhal
9 am
+ Thurs. 14 Jan. Resit Exam Examenhal
2 pm


Dr. Jennifer Spenader normally teaches this course and kindly made her materials available. About three quarters of the materials on corpora were developed by Jennifer and all of the materials on discourse.


The Association for Computational Linguistics comprises over 2,000 researchers world wide and holds several conferences in different parts of the world every year. The largest are attended by more than 1,000 researchers.

John Nerbonne
Last modified: Mon Aug 17, 2009