Subject: Information-communication technology
Course: Introduction to natural language processing
ECTS credits: 5
Language: Croatian, English
Duration: 1 semester
Status: compulsory elective
Method of teaching: 2 lecture hours and 1 hour of practical classes
Prerequisite: no prerequisites:
Assessment: written exam

Course description:
The term "natural" is related to the language people use in their everyday communication, i.e. Croatian, English, German, etc. opposite to artificial languages, such as programming languages. Natural language processing is related to programmes that in some way use natural language. For instance, it is used for computer interface design, where we give the commands to the computer in natural language. It is also used in knowledge acquisition, information retrieval and machine translation. This course gives the introduction to natural language processing with, focusing on the computer use of the natural language.
Course encompasses syntactic analyses, semantic interpretation and language pragmatics and it demonstrates both the symbolic and statistical approach. The topics are: natural language understanding, morphological processing, lexicon, tagger, converter, parser, word sense disambiguation, deductive approaches to interpretation, machine translation and language acquisition.

Course objectives:
The main objectives are:
a) Teach students the leading trends and systems in natural language processing
b) Make them understand the concepts of morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of the language and that they are able to give the appropriate examples that will illustrate the above mentioned concepts
c) Teach them to recognize the significance of pragmatics for natural language understanding
d) Instruct them to describe the simple system based on logic and demonstrate the difference between the semantic presentation and interpretation of that presentation
e) Make them capable to describe the application based on natural language processing and to show the points of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic processing
f) Teach them at least two methods of handling the pronoun relations with the purpose of understanding the semantic interpretation.

Quality check and success of the course: Quality check and success of the course will be done by combining internal and external evaluation. Internal evaluation will be done by teachers and students using survey method at the end of semester. The external evaluation will be done by colleagues attending the course, by monitoring and assessment of the course.

Reading list:
1. Butler, C. (ed), Computer and Written Text. Blackwell, 1992.
2. 2.. Marko Tadić. Jezične tehnologije i hrvatski jezik. Exlibris, Zagreb, 2003.

Additional reading list:
1. James Allen. Natural Language Understanding. 2nd edition.
2. Marko Tadic. Problemi računalne obrade imeničnih oblika u hrvatskome. Suvremena lingvistika 34, (1992), str. 301-308.
3. Marko Tadic. Building the Croatian Morphological Lexicon. Proceedings of the EACL2003 Workshop on Morphological Processing of Slavic Languages (Budimpešta 2003), ACL, str. 41-46.
4. Robert Dale, Hermann Moisl and Harold Somers, eds. Handbook of Natural Langauge Processing. MIT Press, 2000.
5. Lucja M. Iwanska and Stuart C. Shapiro, eds. Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Representation. MIT Press, 2000.
6. Roland R. Hausser. Foundations of Computational Linguistics: Human-Computer Communication in Natural Language. Springer Verlag, 2001.