LINGUIST 4D03 Computers&LinguisticAnalysis
Academic Year: Winter 2017
Instructor: Prof. Michel Genereux
Office: Togo Salmon Hall 623
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24940
Office Hours: Thursdays 10:30 am to 12:00 noon TSH 623
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
This course studies computational tools and techniques of language processing using corpora (large
electronic collections of texts) as an object of inquiry. Students will be trained in basic text-processing,
statistical and programming skills using the free statistical software package R. Topics covered will
include morphological, lexical and syntactic change, construction of frequency list and concordances,
description of authorship and style, and others. The first two hours will be taken by lectures, and
tutorials. The remaining hour will be for independent, guided work on exercises, sometimes including
homework and in-class assignments.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Required reading: Stefan Th. Gries, Quantitative corpus linguistics with R: A practical introduction. 2009.
Companion website: http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/faculty/stgries/research/qclwr/qclwr.html
Other readings (see WEEKLY schedule)
Method of Assessment:
This is a hands-on course administered in a computer lab. Students learn by attending, and participating
in lectures and lab sessions, and by completing the assigned readings and the programming/research
assignments. Students will be expected to conduct a small-scale independent research project involving
collection, processing, statistical analysis and presentation of primary data.
EVALUATION CRITERIA: for homeworks and in-class assignments, if you cannot submit as a pair, submit
individually. Same grade for both. If there is one name, there is one grade - no exceptions.
26% - homework: 2 x 5% + 4 x 4% (group of 1 or 2) submission deadlines TBA
4% - in class assignments: 4 x 1% (group of 1 or 2) submit online no later than one hour after class to
the dated Dropbox on Avenue. The Dropbox will close at a later time.
5% - reading assignments (250 words): 2 x 2.5% (graduate+: 2 x 2.5%, 500 words)
15% - midterm, 1.5 hours:
5% (20 MCQ, closed books) on InC1-2, HM0-2, 10% (open books) on W1-5
35% - independent research project (graduate 45%): a study of a phonetic, morphological, lexical,
semantic, syntactic or discourse phenomenon using one or several corpora as a data source, tools and
statistical techniques of corpus analysis.
15% - final exam, 1.5 hours: 15% (only for undergraduate students)
5% (20 MCQ, closed books) on InC3-5, HW3-5, 10% (open books) on W6-13
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
Assignments submitted within 48 hours of the due date are subject to a 25% penalty. Assignments
submitted 2 to 7 days after the due date are subject to a 50% penalty. Assignments are not accepted
more than 7 days after the due date. Exceptions to due dates and exam dates can be made only with
medical documentation. Submit your medical documentation to the office of the Dean of your Faculty
using the appropriate forms. Note that the University's policy on medical notes is subject to change at
any time in the event of a health emergency on campus.
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- improper collaboration in group work.
- copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection
Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.
Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.
Courses with an On-Line Element
Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
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It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.
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Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.
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Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.
The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.
The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.
Topics and Readings:
4EEK DATE CONTENT HOME4ORK, In Class READING
W1 Jan 6 Corpus Linguistics (CL) RA1, HW0 (W1)
W2 Jan 13 Corpus analysis 1 RA1 due, HW0 due, HW1 (W2-3, R1.1-2) RA1
W3 Jan 20 Corpus analysis 2 RA1+, InC1 R1.1
W4 Jan 27 Corpora and lexical studies HW1 due, HW2 (W4-5, R2.1-2) R2.1
W5 Feb 3 Corpora and visualization RA1+ due, InC2 R2.2, RA1+
W6 Feb 10 Midterm, CL with R 1 HW2 due, RA2 RA2
W7 Feb 17 CL with R 1 RA2 due, HW3 (W6-7, R3.1-2) R3.1 R3.2
W8 Feb 24 Recess
W9 Mar 3 CL with R 2 HW3 due, HW4 (W9-10, R4.1-3) R4.1 R4.2
W10 Mar 10 CL with R 3 RA2+, InC3 R4.3
W11 Mar 17 Statistics with R 1 HW4 due, HW5 (W11-13, R5.1-3) R5.1
W12 Mar 24 Statistics with R 2 Final paper proposal due R5.2
W13 Mar 31 Statistics with R 3 RA2+ due, InC4 R5.3, RA2+
HW5 due Apr 7, Final Exam (April 11-27), Final paper due April 21
RA1 “What is Corpus Linguistics“ RA1+ (graduate, one article in computational linguistics, TBD)
R1.1 Gries 2.1, 2.2 (Corpora, Frequency lists)
R2.1 Gries 2.3 2.4 (colloc., conc.) R2.2 Gries 3.1-5 (vectors, factors, data frames, lists)
RA2 TBD RA2+ (graduate, one article in machine or statistical learning, TBD)
R3.1 Gries 3.6-3.8 (programming, strings, files) R3.2 Gries 4.1 (frequency lists)
R4.1 Gries 4.2 (conc.) R4.2 Gries 4.3 (colloc.) R4.3 Gries 4.4-4.5 (multi-tiered corpora, unicode)
R5.1 Gries 5.1-5.2 (statistical thinking, categorical) R5.2 Gries 5.3-5.4 (interval/ratio, plots)
R5.3 Gries 5.5 5.6 (reporting, case studies)
Other Course Information:
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The
university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either
type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be
given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the
student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to
instructors must originate from the student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy
protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do
not originate from a McMaster email account.
In this course we will be using the Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access
the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names
for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in
the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this
course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such
disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor. Monitor this website at least once a week for
news and updates: your responsibility.
Students with special needs who require accommodations must register with the Centre for Student