Computer Linguistics, 2012-11-14

Computer Linguistics
Stefan Hinterwimmer
Oleksandr Alyeksyeyenko
Wed, 2012-11-14

What did you use to prepare?
What was helpful, what not?

When applying for a CL module examination you have to choose four topics and the according literature. The CL site ( talks about 50 pages for each topic and gives some examples. Your topics have to be approved by the examiners. You are expected to give a 5 minute presentation on each topic.
I used the textbooks and the lecture slides to prepare my presentations. Based on this material I chose the most important points and prepared examples for the main problems.
Additionally I presented the topics to friends and met with another person who had the module examination on the same date and similar topics.

Second try? No
Grade: A (1.7)
Topics I prepared: Auxiliary Verbs, FST, Quantifiers, Binding Theory
Topics actually examined: Binding Theory, Auxiliary Verbs, Quantifiers,
Time per topic: ca. 5 min

Which questions were asked specifically?

After I gave my presentations the examiners asked specific questions about each topic.
I was allowed to chose my first topic which was Binding Theory.
Concerning the Binding Theory they wanted to know more about „Imperatives and Binding". They gave concrete example sentences that I could use for the explanation.
When I talked about Auxiliary Verbs they wanted me to give an example how I would treat a sentence that has no auxiliary verb in it but needs to be negated and inverted. (if I remember correctly the sentence was „John kissed Mary!")
My last topic were Quantifiers. They asked me to explain the problem of quantifiers in object position after I gave my presentation about general problems with quantifiers. I messed up the tree a little but they helped me by giving some hints.

Were there any written tasks?

I chose to explain Quantifiers and Binding Theory on the board because I used several (short) examples. I also used the board for the topic of Auxiliary Verbs because I wrote key expressions on it.
When they gave me concrete examples that I should explain, I also used the board.

Which examples did you have to provide?

I used one example to explain the Principle A of the Binding Theory and one to state the problem of prepositional phrases in this context. To eplain the semantic type of quantificational determiner phrases I gave one example why they cannot be entities and one why they neither are sets of individuals. When I talked about Auxiliary Verbs I gave some examples for the NICE Properties but didn't explain them in detail.

Personal Comment, What was great? What was stupid? What else did you notice?

The examiners gave concrete examples and some hints when I had problems to answer a question.

What were the introduction, examination, grading and justification like?

Introduction was very brief, I was asked whether the exam will be in English or German. (I chose English)

See above in the questions section.

They asked me to wait outside while they were talking about my grade.
Grading and Justification:
The examiners were generally happy with my exam. They liked my presentations but at some points I needed too long to answer their questions (needed too many hints) and the last part of my presentation of Quantifiers could have been explained in a better way.

Concerning the behavior of the examiner:
They were friendly and seemed to enjoy the examination day.