Linguistics 5702: Psycholinguistics 2 / Computational Psycholinguistics

How can neurons in the brain encode complex ideas and link them to linguistic signs? This course will study leading computational cognitive neuroscientific models of human working memory and explore ways in which a working model of language comprehension can be developed within them. Emphasis will be placed on evaluating predictions of implemented working models against existing data sets, although projects may involve data collected by students in their own research.

Instructor: William Schuler

Meeting time: Tuesday and Thursday 9:35am-10:55am in 246 Enarson

Web site: The updated syllabus, assignments, slides, etc. will be posted here, so check it regularly.

Network account: If you do not have one already, you will need a linguistics network account to obtain some of the resources required for this course. You can set this up with Jim Harmon in Oxley 222d during normal working hours.

Computer lab facilities: With your linguistics network account, you can use the linguistics computer lab in Oxley 201. The computers in this lab are installed with all software required for this course. If software does not appear to be working, you should contact Jim Harmon (Oxley 222d) during normal working hours.

Course Content:

Wk Due: Monday (11:59PM) Lecture: Tuesday Lecture: Thursday
1 1/7
(snow day)
course overview
2 1/13 Weiss et al. '05 1/14
EEG data on filler-gap effects: Weiss et al. '05
3 1/20 Saffran '03, Saffran '97, Van Dyke and McElree '11 1/21
proto-vectorial models: Saffran '03
memory usage in garden path vs. filler-gap: Van Dyke and McElree '11
4 1/28
(snow day)
1/30 --- PS1 posted
review of neural behavior
5 2/4
neural networks, linear algebra and associative cueing
6 2/10
PS1 due
2/11 --- PS2 posted
numpy, distributed meaning, dimensionality reduction
traversing graph networks of distributed states
7 2/17 PS2 due (moved to 2/19) 2/18
vector models of parsing in working memory
8 2/25 --- PS3 posted parser code (
semantic dependencies and scope dependencies in graphs
9 3/3 PS3 due
(moved to 3/5)
10 3/10
(spring break)
11 3/17 3/18
composition of semantic dependencies
12 3/24 von der Malsburg '95, 3/25
3/27 --- PS4 posted
13 3/31 Howard and Kahana '02 4/1
temporal cueing
14 4/7
PS4 due, Hsu et al. '09, Dubey et al. '11
spectral learning
15 4/14
Hsiao et al. '13
Chinese relative clauses
project presentations
16 4/21 project due
(end of term)

Successful course participation involves:

All readings will be made available via Carmen (under Content), and written assignments will be handed in via Carmen Dropbox.

Course prerequisites: This course assumes some programming experience and familiarity with linguistic and psycholinguistic concepts.

Students with Disabilities:

Students who need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible to discuss the course format, to anticipate needs, and to explore potential accommodations. I rely on the Office of Disability Services for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and developing accommodation strategies. Students who have not previously contacted the Office for Disability Services are encouraged to do so (292-3307;

Academic Misconduct:

You must do your homeworks, programming assignments, and examinations yourself, ON YOUR OWN. Copying another's work, or allowing (even negligently) others to copy your work, or possession of electronic computing devices in the testing area, is cheating and grounds for penalties.

Academic dishonesty is not allowed and will be reported to the University Committee on Academic Misconduct.