Midwest Speech and Language Days 2013

The Midwest Speech and Language Days 2013 at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago are happening on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2013.


Python 3 for Linguists at the LSA Summer Institute 2013 Course Material

The course material for the LSA Summer Institute 2013 course Python 3 for Linguists will be made available at:

Python for Linguists Wiki (LTL, EMU)
Python 3 for Linguists (Dropbox)

There is a (currently not so full) Github repository Py3L with the (future) source code.

We are using the Komodo Edit 8.x (the free editor) and Python 3.3 in the course. We will be able to help you installing the necessary software components.

AARDVARC Workshop May 2013

AARDVARC - Automatically Annotated Repository of Digital Audio and Video Resources Community

NSF sponsored workshops at ILIT/EMU and CUNY.


Moving projects and code to GitHub

I am moving code and project folders to GitHub. I don’t know, whether this is a good idea, it just turns out to be easier to use… Happy

This port includes the SNLTK code, all kinds of Python 3 projects, Java code, some of the C(++) code for FSTs and some NLP tasks, corpus and TEI XML utils. Some of that I limited to pull-only and push-access exclusively for collaborators. If you were involved in some of that, let me know, send me your GitHub-ID is and I can add you to the collaborators group of the particular repos.

In particular, my course material will be migrated to GitHub completely. For example, the course material for the LSA Summer Institute course in summer 2013 will be placed there:
Python 3 for Linguists


Some old files about the Linguistics Program at the University of Zadar

Since I was asked many times about this MA program and the original text that went to the accreditation committee in Croatia (where we got one very nasty and absolutely irrelevant review, if I find it, I’ll post it here; but also a very good and constructive review), here are the files, the Croatian and English text about the MA program in Linguistics that we submitted for accreditation within the Bologna system back in 2008 at the University of Zadar. I think, this is the corrected version. It was not the best possible program, developed under time pressure and in a very difficult situation, and its was building on the growing wave of computational linguistics, speech and language technology, as well as theoretical linguistics. We would do a lot of things differently nowadays. If you can use any of this for your inspiration or personal attempts to apply for a program or other support, let us know. I can forward you the editable version for some Office package.

English version:

  • Croatian version:


WSU talk: info on corpora and tech that will be discussed

I’ll give a talk on corpora and relevant technologies at Wayne State University in Detroit on the 19th of October at 11 AM. Here are some links, papers and slides that might be interesting for colleagues and students to follow and post process:


Java programming sessions for the ILIT group

We are meeting Fridays at 9 AM in the Cooper building for Java programming.

You might want to prepare your machine by installing:

1. the Java SE 7u7 JDK:

2. the NetBeans 7.2 IDE:

and maybe reading some of the Java Tutorial:


Endangered languages is up

The Endangered Languages site has been launched today:



Clozure CL on Mac App Store

Clozure CL, an open source and free implementation of Common Lisp for Mac is available on the App Store:


Talk at the IDS 8th of May

Tomorrow, 8th of May 2012, I will be presenting at the Institute of German Language in Mannheim, and there is the last day of Maimarkt… I might meet U there???

Course at LSA Institute 2013: Python 3 for Linguists

Malgosia and I will be teaching a course at the LSA Institute 2013 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor: Python 3 for Linguists.

Thanks to the
Institute Steering Committee for accepting our proposal!

Talk: Piotr Banski "TEI XML for Linguists"

Please join us for a talk by:
Dr. Piotr Banski (
Institute for German Language/Institut fuer Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Germany)

Title: "
TEI XML for Linguists"

Time: Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Location: Suite 104, Cooper Building, on the Eastern Michigan University campus (see
Google maps)

Talk: M. Cavar "On the influence of L1 on the L2 perception: The case of tenseness contrast in American vowels"

Date: April 13th, 2012
Time: 1:30 PM
Location: Cooper Building, Suite 104, EMU, 2000 Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti

Directions: Take Washtenaw heading east from Ann Arbor toward Ypsilanti. Go past Hwy 23, turn left on Golfside, then turn right on Huron River Drive. The Cooper Building will be on the left, across from Rynearson Stadium, and there is free parking right out front. If you reach Superior St. you have gone too far.

Title: On the influence of L1 on the L2 perception: The case of tenseness contrast in American vowels
Malgorzata E. Cavar

One obvious difficulty in foreign language learning is the production of foreign sounds. What is less obvious is the fact that the perception of foreign categories by L2 learners differs from that of the native speakers and in itself might be and often is a hurdle in the acquisition of the phonetic/phonological system of the foreign language. In this talk, I will present the results of a series of experiments pertaining to the perception of the English vocalic contrast in high vowels by learners with different L1 backgrounds. The goal of this and similar studies is to determine how perceptual strategies of L2 learners differ from those of English native speakers and what these differences depend on. In the long run, the aim is to predict “customized” areas of difficulty for learners with different backgrounds and to help develop curricula and teaching aids that would actually respond to learners’ needs.

Tokenization, frequency profiles and N-gram models in Python 3

This is a brief description about how to use the Python 3 scripts to generate N-gram models for word tokens and characters from text. I expect you to have a Python 3 interpreter installed on your system.


Lithuanian Morphology and LFG-Grammar...

The poster for the DGfS annual meeting 2012 on a Lithuanian Morphology and LFG Grammar is done. This was the result of a grad course at the University of Konstanz on rule-based natural language processing (using XFST and XLE). I am proud of all the participants!
Here is the poster. You can test the morphology online. The coverage will improve, this is based on the morpheme numbers from the poster, without generic morphological rules. The generator will be made available there too.

LINGUIST List has a store on amazon.com

The LINGUIST List store on amazon.com

LINGUIST List Fund Drive 2012 has started

Please consider supporting LINGUIST List, just go to the Fund Drive 2012 pages and donate!

Text analyzed and parsed to TEI XML wrapper

I set up a simple testing page for a wrapper of raw text to TEI XML. It uses in this version just the Stanford CoreNLP tools to tokenize, recognize sentences, part of speech annotate and lemmatize the input. Just paste a paragraph of text in there. In the next version this will be expanded with NLP tools for a couple of more languages, as well as other analysis components and tools for English.


Charty in JavaScript...

Ben Cool ported Charty (CFG-based Chart parser) to JavaScript for a class project and added in one version feature augmentation and unification to it. You can test it online. This is running on mobile devices like iPad or iPhone in Safari and on Android with a browser that has JavaScript support without any server-based component. See the documentation and test site here


Stanford-CoreNLP corenlp.sh script on Mac OS X Lion

To make the Stanford CoreNLP tools work on your Mac OS X 10.7.x (Lion) distribution with the included bash script do this...


Changed Privacy Policy

Since privacy policy changes seem to be all around now, here is one by me for the pages here:

If you want to make your web-experience somewhat more private, and prevent me from being able to read out something from the apache log files about you, here are some hints about how you could configure your browser to reduce the amount of personal bits you leave on your way on this page or anywhere else on the web:


Language Technology Lab (LTL) up

The Language Technology Lab (LTL) (ILIT and EMU) is up, check it out:


More content to come in the next days and weeks… stay tuned!


Using Antconc: Notes 1

Here is a short instruction on using Antconc for simple statistical analysis.


Dictionaries for Mac OS X

Here are some of the dictionaries for the OS X Dictionary.app:


TikZ-dependency graph LaTeX library

The TikZ-dependency graph library for LaTeX can be found here

Online tool for IPA transcription

Here is an online tool for IPA transcription, i2speak:


just restored the pages from backups...

I just restored a bunch of web pages of summer schools and workshops. Some had interesting material on them, in particular pictures. Check out the JSSECL 2006 event…


the linguistic Wolfram Demonstrations Projects

Check out these demonstrations from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project:


C-FASL 2012, you should join it...

You should submit a paper to Computational Formal Approaches to Slavic Languages (C-FASL) 2012:



Scheme and Racket implementation of a parser

The GUI-based Charty implementation (agenda-based chart parser for CFGs) is finally available on the SNLTK pages.

Scheme and Racket meeting at ILIT (Cooper building)

The Schemers at EMU meet on Thursday 31st of Nov. at 3 PM Eastern Time in the Cooper building for an initial 1.5 hours intro and coordination meeting.

If you would like to participate, bring your computational hardware with DrRacket with you, and maybe have a look at my previous blog entry and also the Scheme Natural Language Toolkit (SNLTK).

We hope that some others will join us. I can open up a communication channel, Skype and Desktop Sharing, maybe soon we can have collaborative editing going (using maybe Eclipse (Did anybody test ECF and the DocShare component in it?)). Just let me know, if you would be interested in joining this session.

Some DrRacket videos...

Here are some introductory video clips for DrRacket:


Thanks to John Clements.


Intensive Python class for Linguists (for corpuslinguistics, language data processing and manipulation etc.)

I am offering an intensive class for the LING519 students, all the Linguist List people, and whoever might be interested, this Saturday 19th of Nov. 2011 at 10 AM Eastern Time in Cooper, the LinguistList Suite. We plan to meet for 4 hours or more, depending on speed and interest. Let me know, if you are interested. If you want to join us, let me know. I will share the screen and the audio already with Zadar, we can include you, if you cannot come. The topics covered might be:

Intro to Python 3
Using Komodo Edit 6.x
Processing corpora like the Brown corpus (raw text with slash-pos, or TEI XML), the Penn Treebank, the Croatian Language Corpus etc.
Generating statistical models and profiles: frequency profiles, N-gram models
Calculating significance, mutual information, relative entropy, …
Simple Finite State Machines
Simple Parsers
Generating outputs of analyses: CSV, HTML, XML, etc.


Building the Google V8 JavaScript engine as a Shell interpreter for Mac OS X

Here is an instruction for building the Google V8 JavaScript engine on Mac OS X as a shell tool for testing:


Just keep in mind, when you want to build it for Mac OS X Lion, the SCons call should be:

scons arch=x64

The rest of the build instructions goes unchanged. Also for the comment at the bottom of the page above, you would add:

scons arch=x64 sample=shell

and get a “shell” binary, which is the JavaScript standalone engine.

If you build the v8 binary, you can copy it for example to /usr/local/bin, to make it available in general.


The Schemers become active again...

The Schemers and Racketeers are meeting again, join us, see the SNLTK pages



There is an update to be expected on the Scheme Natural Language Toolkit (SNLTK) (and there is soon an update of Scheme coming as well), and the SNLTK is also being ported to common Racket.

ELS 2012

The European List Symposium in 2012 will be organized at the University of Zadar, and I am on the organizing committee, and participating as well. Stay tuned…

It took a while...

to settle down in Ann Arbor and start teaching at EMU, but now we will get back to the project work…