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Introduction to linguistic computation and complexity theory a.y. 2020/21


How can we describe explicitly the computation needed for linguistic processing? 
In this course, I will introduce this question by familiarizing with an appropriate formal background. On the one hand, we will see how linguistic intuitions can be formalized precisely in a way that is compatible with their efficient implementation in computer programs (Natural Language Processing, NLP, applications); on the other, we will evaluate the cognitive plausibility of these computational models focusing on processing incrementality and on the revealed difficulty related to specific linguistic constructions.


December 14th, 10:00-13:00
December 15th, 10:00-13:00
December 16th, 10:00-14:00


  1. Chesi C. (2015) On directionality of phrase structure building. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 44(1) 
  2. Chesi, C., & Brattico, P. (2018). Larger than expected: constraints on pied-piping across languages. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa. Vol. 40.
  3. Lewis, R. L., & Vasishth, S. (2005). An activation‐based model of sentence processing as skilled memory retrieval. Cognitive science, 29(3), 375-419. 
  4. Partee B., A. ter Meulen & R. Wall (1990) Mathematical Methods in Linguistics, Springer, 1990, solo Capitoli 16 – 18 (pagg. 433-506)
  5. Van Dyke, J. A., & McElree, B. (2006) Retrieval interference in sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(2), 157-166.


The evaluation will be based on an oral exam.

Credits: 2

Cristiano Chesi

Professore Associato di Linguistica

Ciclo : XXXVI

Tipologia corso : Tipo a

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2020-2021

Luogo : Iuss aula 1-15

Durata : 10