Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Fachrichtung 4.7 Universität des Saarlandes

Einführung in die Pragmatik und Texttheorie

Alexis Palmer & Andrea Horbach

Preliminary Schedule

For the recommended reading for each thematic area, see below and the reading list.

Older slides are provided for your convenience, so that you can prepare for the lectures. The lecture contents may still change. Up-to-date slides appear in the course of the semester.


  • 21.04.14 Easter Monday, no class
  • 28.04.14 (Mon 0830)
    Lecture: Introduction. (AH/AP)

    Overview. Basic notions. Pragmatic meaning and pragmatic inferences.
    Reading: Levinson, chapter 1
    Slides 2012 (Ger): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (Eng/Ger): PDF


  • 28.04.13 (Mon 1230)
    Lecture: Conversational Implicatures I. (AH)

    Communicative intention and implicit meaning; Gricean cooperative principle and conversation maxims; conversational implicatures arising from obeying and flouting the maxims; properties of conversational implicatures.
    Reading: Levinson, chapter 3
    Slides 2005 (Eng): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (Ger): PDF
    NEU Übung 1: PDF

  • 05.05.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 1: Introduction and Conversational Implicatures I.
    NEU Slides 2014 (Ger): PDF
    Lecture: Conversational Implicatures II. (AH)

    Scalar and clausal conversational implicatures. How implicatures simplify semantics. Application of coversational maxims to referring expressions.
    Scalar and clausal implicatures. Application of conv. maxims to generating referring expressions (cf. Dale and Reiter 1995)
    Reading: Levinson, chapter 3, Dale und Reiter 1995
    Slides 2005 (Eng): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (Ger): PDF
    NEU Übung 2: PDF


  • 12.05.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 2: Conversational Implicatures II.

    NEU Slides 2014 (Ger): PDF
    Lecture: Reference. (AP)
    Anaphora and Anaphoric Relationships. Familiarity of discourse entities. Discourse representation.
    Reading: Prince 1981, Prince 1992, Grosz, Joshi, Weinstein 1995
    Slides 2013 (Ger): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (Eng): PDF
    NEU Übung 3: PDF
  • 19.05.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 3: Reference.

    NEU Slides 2014 (Eng): PDF
    Lecture: Anaphora Resolution. (AH)
    Reading: Jurafsky & Martin (2000), chapter 18 (2009, ch. 21)
    Additional reading: Hobbs, Brennan et. al, Lappin&Leass
    Slides 2008 (Eng): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014: PDF
    NEU Übung 4: PDF

Discourse Coherence and Processing, Information Structure

  • 26.05.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 4: Anaphora resolution.
    Lecture: Discourse Coherence. (AP)

    Discourse Cohesion and Coherence. Discourse relations. Discourse Structure Theory (Grosz & Sidner 1986). Rhetorical Structure Theory (Mann & Thompson 1987).
    Reading: RST website: intro to RST, Grosz & Sidner 1986
    Slides (C. Sporleder, 2007) (Ger): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (Eng): PDF
    NEU Übung 5: PDF
  • 02.06.14 (Mon, ONLY 1230)
    Guest Lecture: Information Structure: Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova

    Partitioning of sentence meaning into Theme/Rheme. Question test. Contrast. IS interpretation. Surface realization of IS (intonation, word order, syntactic constructions, morphological marking). IS in practical applications: spoken dialogue, embodied conversational agents.
    Reading: Steedman 2000, Kruijff-Korbayova et al.
    Slides (English): PDF
    NEU Übung 6: PDF
  • 09.06.14 Pfingstmontag, no class
  • 16.06.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercises 5 & 6: Discourse Coherence, Information Structure.
    Lecture: Computational Discourse Processing (AP)

    Corpora for computational treatment of discourse (e.g. Penn Discourse TreeBank, RSTBank). Survey of computational approaches to discourse and applications of such processing.
    Reading: Webber et al. 2012, Miltsakaki et al. 2004
    More info on PDTB: PDTB Annotation Manual
    NEU Slides 2014 (Eng): PDF
    NEU PDTB Slides (Eng): PDF
    NEU Übung 7: PDF
    NEU Fragebogen: PDF


  • 23.06.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 7: PDTB.

    NEU Folien 2014: PDF
    Lecture: Presuppositions I. (AH)
    History; defining presupposition; presupposition triggers; presupposition projection problem.
    Reading: Levinson, chapter 4
    Slides 2013: PDF
    NEU Übung 8: PDF
    NEU Folien 2014: PDF

  • 30.06.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 8: Presuppositions I.
    NEU Folien 2014: PDF
    Lecture: Presuppositions II. (AH)

    Semantic and pragmatic theories of presupposition. Presupposition projection.
    Reading: van der Sandt
    Slides 2010: PDF
    NEU Slides 2014: PDF
    NEU Exercise 9: PDF


  • 07.07.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 9: Presuppositions II.
    Lecture: Metaphor and its computational processing. (AP)

    Slides 2013 (German): PDF
    NEU Slides 2014 (English): PDF
    NEU Exercise 10: PDF Achtung: Abgabedatum (und Art) beachten.

Speech Acts and Dialogue

  • 14.07.14 (Mon 0830/1230)
    Exercise 10: Metaphor.

    NEU: Analogy interpretations: PDF
    Lecture: Speech Acts (AP)
    Theory of speech acts following Austin and Searle; Semantic theories; Direct and Indirect speech acts.
    Reading: Levinson, chapter 5
    Slides 2013 (German): pdf
    NEU Slides 2014 (English): PDF
    NEU Exercise 11: PDF

  • 21.07.14 (TBD)
    Exercise 10: Speech acts.

    NEU Slides 2014 (Deutsch): PDF
    Lecture and Lab Session: Developing a Dialogue System (AH)
    Grounding. Dialogue acts/moves. DialogOS toolkit.
    NEU Slides 2014 (Deutsch): PDF
    DialogOS Handbuch

Summary and examination

  • 28.07.14 (TBD) Exam preparation discussion.

  • 31.07.14 10-12 Exam (Konferenzraum im Neubau)