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Introduction to linguistic computation and complexity theory (a.y. 2019/20)


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 while discussing some ideas presented in the recent literature: 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 dealing with Natural Language Processing (NLP); on the other, we will evaluate the cognitive plausibility of these computational models focusing on the revealed difficulty related to specific linguistic constructions.


December 16th 2019, 10:00 - 13:00
December 17th 2019, 10:00 - 13:00
December 18th 2019, 10:00 - 14:00


  • Chesi C. (2015) Il processamento in tempo reale delle frasi complesse. In atti del convegno “Compter Parler Soigner”, E.M. Ponti (ed). Pavia University Press.
  • Chesi C. (2015) On directionality of phrase structure building. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 44(1)
  • Chesi, C., & Brattico, P. (2018). Larger than expected: constraints on pied-piping across languages. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa. Vol. 40.
  • Partee B., A. ter Meulen & R. Wall (1990) Mathematical Methods in Linguistics, Springer, 1990, solo Capitoli 16 – 18 (pagg. 433-506)
  • 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

Associate Professor of Linguistics

Cycle : XXXV

Course type : Type a

Period: Semester I

Academic year: 2019-2020

Place : Classroom 1-15

Duration : 10 hours