Teaching

Introduction to Compositional Semantics

How can we build up the meaning of sentences from the meaning of words? In this module, we will learn how to translate words into expressions in lambda calculus. The material we cover will be essential to anyone wishing to work in formal semantics or the syntax-semantics interface.

(I taught this module as part of the UCL Linguistics Autumn School 2023, which I co-organised with Yiling Huo.)

Feedback: average rating of 9.7 out of 10 (11 responses)

  • “Very well-organised; the presentation and the way of answering the questions are clear.”
  • “You are calm and clear! Inspiring content!”
  • “I loved this module!!! I thought the PowerPoint was clear and your presentation style was very engaging.”
  • “I love your teaching style, involving, encouraging, supportive. Though the material itself is difficult to cover in just five hours, you did really well.”
  • “I like the activities that allows me to practice right away.”
  • “The help you provided when we were working through the activities was really useful.”
  • “Gentle, beginner friendly but also has some challenging exercises.”
  • “I like it that you managed to make clear to students something that’s still controversial in the literature / still has theoretical problems.”

Outline:

  • Session 1: Language as a meaning machine [slides]
  • Session 2: Combining multiple machines [slides]
  • Session 3: Creating a homemade machine [slides]
  • Session 4: Feeding machines into machines [slides]
  • Session 5: Feeding machines into machines (cont’d) [slides]