WS24/25: Cognitive Models of Human Language Understanding

Course description

In this seminar, we will take a look at how psycholinguistic theories can be formalized as computational models and how these models can help specify and improve those theories and generate predictions. The first two sessions will give participants an overview of the modeling frameworks – the cognitive modeling framework Adaptive Control of Thought – Rational (ACT-R) and Bayesian probabilistic models, including the Rational Speech Act (RSA) framework. Each participant will present a paper on a seminar-relevant topic, such as modeling the role of working memory and processing speed in language comprehension and production, eye movements and sentence comprehension, listener adaptation and rational overspecification.

The goal of the seminar is to take stock of the range of approaches used in computational cognitive modeling and the recent applications of cognitive modeling to psycholinguistic and pragmatic phenomena. At the end of the course, participants may choose between a more traditional term paper and a project modeling a psycholinguistic phenomenon of their choice in one of the frameworks discussed in the seminar, after consultation with the instructors.

taught by:  Alexandra Mayn and Jack Duff
start date: tba
time: tba
located in:tba
credits:4 CP (presentation only), 7 CP (presentation + final paper/project)
Grade breakdown:
•    4 CP (presentation only): 70% Presentation, 30% homework and contribution to discussion
•    7 CP (presentation + term paper or project): 40% Presentation, 40% Final paper/project, 20% homework and contribution to discussion
suited for:  B.Sc. in Computational Linguistics
B.Sc. in Language Science and Technlogy
M.Sc. in Computational Linguistics
M.Sc. in Language Science and Technology
more details:tba