Computational Semantics


Robin Cooper


If you want to mail everybody on the course (including me) mail
If you want to mail just me (e.g. if you are mailing the solution to an exercise) mail and include "compsem" in the title of your message.


We will work through the book
Blackburn, Patrick and Johan Bos (2005) Representation and Inference for Natural Language: a First Course in Computational Semantics, CSLI Publications, Stanford.
For information about the book and some suggestions for how you may buy it on the web see

We will devote the first intensive week to the first two chapters of the book:

Chap. 1 - First-Order Logic
Chap. 2 - Lambda Calculus
In the second intensive week we will cover at least some of the remaining four chapters:
Chap. 3 - Underspecified Representations
Chap. 4 - Propositional Inference
Chap. 5 - First Order Inference
Chap. 6 - Putting It All Together

Depending on the interests of people taking the course, we may take up one or more of the following topics: beyond the first order logic (generalized quantifiers, intensionality), other programming paradigms (functional programming, multi-paradigm approaches), discourse representation theory.

There will also be a final seminar for the presentation of student projects. There will be informal seminars using the videoconferencing software Marratech on intervening weeks, during which we will discuss solutions to exercises and questions relating to the material.

Schedule and Exercises

Course schedule



Slides for first intensive week (pdf)

Slides for second intensive week (pdf)

Slides for net meeting 2nd Nov (pdf)


The software is available at It is also be installed on GSLT's server. See instructions (pdf).

Course requirements and time planning

This course corresponds to 5 Swedish credit points (7.5 ECTS credits), i.e. 5 weeks' work or 200 hours. I reckon that you should divide your time approximately as follows:

Lectures - 12 hours
Final seminar - 8 hours
Project - 80 hours
Exercises, reading and discussion sessions - 100 hours

To pass the course you need to:

  1. hand in acceptable solutions to the five exercise sets by the deadlines in the schedule. If your solutions are not acceptable, I will set you additional exercises until you have sufficiently many acceptable solutions to pass the course.
  2. hand in a project proposal by 9th Nov.
  3. present your project at the final seminar.
  4. hand in an acceptable project (description and code) after the final seminar.


Project suggestions.

Project reports

Sara Stymne and Yvonne Samuelsson - A Swedish Curt, available at
Last modified: Mon Feb 4 16:55:57 CET 2008