Formal and Empirical Language Modelling

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 13:30 - 15:45
Menno van Zaanen

In the context of computational linguistics, there are several tasks

that are typically tackled with the help of language models.  These

models provide a rough description of the language under

consideration, however they are not good enough to fully describe the

language.  Taking the limitations of the language models into account,

they are often used to filter the output of other components by

removing sentences that are clearly incorrect.


A completely different field of research, grammatical inference,

deals with finding good representations of languages, often in the

shape of grammars, given a set of example sentences.  This field is

mainly interested in formal classes of grammars and aims to show which

classes of grammars can be learnt efficiently under certain



I this talk, I will describe language models and their use in

computational linguistics, as well as results in grammatical

inference.  Finally, I will show some work that tries to bridge the

two fields.

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