MAT1509HS: Mathematical and Computational Linguistics

Winter 2019: University of Toronto, BA6180, Tuesday 4-6 pm and Wednesday 4-5pm

Instructor: Matilde Marcolli

(Alexander Calder, "Four Red Systems", 1960)

Brief Course Description

The class will cover mathematical and computational models of acquisition and evolution of natural languages. We will discuss learnability questions, Markov chain models, population dynamics models, evolutionary behavior, communicative efficiency and fitness, We will focus in particular on the Principles and Parameters model of linguistics and we will discuss the use of mathematical methods, involving algebraic geometry, topology, and statistical physics, to describe the evolution of natural languages. Specific examples from historical linguistics will be revisited from a mathematical and computational perspective.

Slides of Lectures

Reading Materials

Links to articles and reading suggestions for presentations:

Schedule of Final Presentations