Information Theory in Linguistics: Methods and Applications

LaCo Advancedweek 2 each day

Adina Williams (Facebook AI Research NYC)
Ryan Cotterell (ETH Zürich)
Richard Futrell (University of California, Irvine)


Abstract: Since Shannon originally proposed his mathematical theory of communication in the middle of the 20th century, information theory has been an important way of viewing and investigating problems at the interfaces between linguistics, cognitive science, and computation, respectively. With the upsurgence in applying machine learning approaches to linguistics questions, information-theoretic methods are becoming an ever more important tool in the linguist’s toolbox. The course emphasizes interdisciplinary connections between the fields of linguistics and natural language processing. We plan to do this by first establishing a firm mathematical basis, and showing it can be fruitfully applied to several linguistic applications, ranging from semantics, typology, morphology, and phonotactics, to the interface between cognitive science and linguistics.