Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitLinguistics
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Simon Musgrave


Previously coded LIN3180


This unit introduces students to the field of computational linguistics, an increasingly important area within linguistics. The course will include an overview of the development of the field and its relation to other developments in linguistics and outside of it. The main approaches used, both rule-based and probabilistic will be discussed and the basic techniques in each approach will be studied and practised. The major applications of computational techniques in linguistics, including machine translation, data mining and corpus linguistics will also be examined along with current achievements in these areas.


On completion of this unit, students will have gained an understanding of:

  1. the history of the use of computers in linguistics
  2. the intellectual context of such work
  3. the computational implementation of rules in phonology, morphology and syntax
  4. the principles of probabilistic analysis of language
  5. and the application of computational techniques to various real-world problems.

Students will also have gained experience in:

  1. using simple software for linguistic analysis including parsing
  2. using software for quantitative analysis of large bodies of language data
  3. and designing and implementing a small research project using computational techniques.

Students will also develop their skills in:

  1. rigorous analysis of language data
  2. critical thinking
  3. and developing research projects.

In addition, students at level 3 will develop their skills in presenting the results of their work.


Assignment 1 (500 words) 10%
Assignment 2 (500 words) 15%
Assignment 3 (2000 words) 40%
Class test (2 hours, equivalent to 1000 words) 25%
Participation - includes oral presentation of results (500 words equivalent) 10%
The class test will include additional questions for level 3 students.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hours per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


1st year sequence in Linguistics (ATS1338 + ATS1339)