From weeks 11 – 14 in the Wednesday session of the week, you will be constructing a program which models aspects of how English sentence structure works. The point of these labs is to get you the opportunity to see how it is that an abstract model of human language might match up to what you would expect to find in real language. (Also, believe me, this is a lot easier than doing all this by hand!)
To do this, we will introduce you to a program: PSG Lab. This program allows you to write a simple grammar that does what grammars are supposed to do – tell you what sort of linguistic utterances are available and how they are structured. The program works two ways. 1) it produces sentences, and 2) it tells you the structure of sentences that you give to it.
One thing you will find about these exercises is that you must be very careful as to what you do with the program. It will only do what you tell it to do; it cannot read your mind. So ... you must be very explicit about what you say to it.
In labs, we will give you step-by-step instructions to help you get to the point where you can see what the program allows you to do. We will also do some demonstrations together, and then will have you work through some exercises in the labs with us around to help you out. We will then have an assignment posted for you to do. The assignment will get posted during the lab, and will be due on various days the next week. These assignments will build upon one another, so you must keep up with them to complete the project.
Click on the appropriate week for further instructions.