Course Description

LIS 9732   Language and Computer Technologies for Libraries and Beyond

Course Description
Introduction to linguistic and computational aspects of natural language processing technologies. Familiarity with underlying principles and techniques required to perform all levels of language understanding and processing of naturally occurring text. Critical assessment of the use of language technologies in a variety of applications.

Prerequisites:  Knowledge of spreadsheets, presentation software, database software, and basic HTML coding.

0.5 course

Cross-listed with LIS PhD 9832.

Program Content Areas
Information and Communication Technology
Information Organization, Curation and Access

Course Objectives
  1. To gain an awareness and appreciation of the complexity of natural language.
  2. To analyze the research literature on linguistic and computational aspects of natural language processing techniques.
  3. To critically evaluate a variety of applications that use natural language processing technologies.
  4. To connect NLP technologies and library applications in an innovative way.

Relationship to the Goals and Objectives of the MLIS Program

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  1. critically evaluate natural language technologies and envisage their creative applications in library settings and digital media at large (from Goal 1, Obj. 1 and 3);
  2. identify, select, acquire, organize, describe and provide access to information in a textual format (from Goal 2, Obj. 1g);
  3. employ appropriate natural language technologies to organize textual information in a meaningful way (from Goal 2, Obj. 1i);
Goals and Objectives of the MLIS Program

Sample Content (for information only)
  1. Introduction to Language Technologies
  2. Statistical vs. Symbolic NLP; Corpus Linguistics
  3. Lexicology; Regular Expressions; WordNet
  4. Morphology; Part-of-Speech Tagging
  5. Syntax; Parsing
  6. Semantic Analysis; Temporal Sequencing from Text
  7. Semantic Representation; Frames; Case Grammars
  8. Lexical Semantics; Word-sense Disambiguation
  9. Discourse Analysis; Anaphora & Coherence
  10. Discourse Structure; Sublanguage Grammar
  11. Pragmatics; Speech Act Theory; Gricean Maxims; Dialogues
  12. Evaluation; Gold-standards; Annotation Science; Subjectivity in Language

Sample Readings

Liddy, E.D. (2003). Natural Language Processing. In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science,
2nd ed. Marcel Decker. Retrieved from

Mitkov, R. (Ed.) (2004). The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smith, G. W. (1991). Computers and Human Language. New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press.