Aspects of complexity are important under a number of different theoretical and applied perspectives related to language - from theoretical linguistics making reference to complex noun phrases and recursion, via language acquisition research discussing complexity as a measure of development, or readability research distinguishing which audience a text is appropriate for and how it could be simplified, to psycholinguistic research on human sentence processing computing surprisal and other measures reflecting processing difficulty. Interestingly, complexity is an issue at all levels of linguistic modeling, including the lexicon and morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse as well as aspects of language use such as frequency. In this Hauptseminar, we will investigate and develop computational linguistic techniques and applications supporting the automatic identification of a broad range of aspects of linguistic complexity, including computational models of human processing and modules needed to build tools for readability classification, simplification, or information retrieval.

This course provides an introduction to language processing in character-based languages, such as Chinese or Japanese. Through a series of recent research papers, we explore which properties of characters influence how people understand these types of languages, and how language processing differs between alphabetical languages such as English or German and character-based languages. Do readers of character-based languages arrive at a correct understanding of a character by combining strokes, or are characters processed as a whole? To what extent does the arbitrary mapping between form (characters) and sound (pronunciations of characters) make language processing more difficult? Do the combinatorial properties of characters (i.e., the way in which characters combine with other characters to form words) matter? Previous knowledge about language processing is helpful, but not required. No previous knowledge about Chinese or Japanese is needed.

The first half of this course provides an overview of a selection of mathematical and computational models of language evolution, including cf. evolutionary game theory and signaling games, or the iterated learning paradigm. This provides the platform for the second half of the course where students work on small projects (possibly in small groups), that focus on theoretical\mathematical aspects of a modeling approach and consist a small programming project.
The goal of this course is to make students acquainted with the current state of the art in modeling the evolution of language, and to lead up to some of the many open issues and current research topics in this field.

The OS features presentations and discussions of current issues in linguistic modeling and its interfaces. This includes linguistic modeling in computational linguistics, language acquisition research, Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning - as well as theoretical linguistic research with a focus on the interfaces of syntax and information structure. It is open to advanced students and anyone interested in this interdisciplinary enterprise.

This course covers phonetics and phonology of Mandarin Chinese from both a descriptive and an experimental perspective. In the descriptive part of the course, we will study the sound segments of Chinese, the Chinese tone system, and the syllable structures in Chinese, using the textbook The Sounds of Chinese (Y.H. Lin). The knowledge gained through this part of the course will be complemented with hands-on experience. We will record the pronunciations of speakers of Chinese and explore the sound files to look at the realisation of sound segments and tones in actual speech. Previous knowledge of phonetics or phonology is not required for this course. The descriptive part of the course will be tested through a midterm exam, whereas the experimental part of the course requires students to write a report about the experiment.

This programming course shows how the data structures and algorithms learned in the first two programming course can be advanced and combined in ways useful in Computational Linguistics. 
On the one hand the course will show how tools commonly used in computational linguistics such as parsers, formal languages, etc. are implemnted. On the other hand it is shown how these tools are used in a wider context by introducing fundamental tools and showing how to make use of existing essential tools such as UIMA, GWT, or version control systems

This course offers an introduction at the graduate level to the study of language acquisition, in particular Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The course surveys the major SLA theories, their goals, research methodology, and major findings, emphasizing the interdisciplinary link to linguistic modeling and cognition.