Computer Linguistics, 2017-09-11

Computer Linguistics
Mingya Liu
Jutta Mueller
Mon, 2017-09-11

Computer Linguistics, Semester 8, Courses: Neurocognition of Language, CL, Seminar on Conditionals

What did you use to prepare?

When choosing Linguistics as your module examination you have to prepare four topics with about 50 pages of literature for each of them, see:

I prepared by first going through the respective course materials on the topics. I then worked through the 200 page until I had understood everything and was certain that I could explain everything. I then summarized each topic in writing.

I would say about 8h-12h of actual work for each topic.

What was helpful, what not?

All of this was helpful. Discussing some points with other people would probably also been helpful.


Second try? No
Grade: A (1.3)
Topics I prepared: Sentence Production (Garrett, Traxler book chapter); Cooperative Principle (Grice's studies in the way of words); Negative Polarity Items (Zwarts hierarchy); Conditional Perfection (geis &zwicky + other papers)
Topics actually examined: Sentence Production, Cooperative Principle, Negative Polarity
Time per topic: ca. 10 min

Collection of Questions: Which questions were asked specifically?

Sentence Production:
I was asked to give evidence for different levels of production and to explain which implications we can draw from which speech errors.

Cooperative Principle:
I was asked for the different of conventional and conversational implicature and to explain by example.
I was asked to explain why we say "I ate some apples" when we ate a few apples but not all.

Negative Polarity:
I was given an example sentence with an NPI in it and was asked to deduce if the determiner is downward monotonic, anti additive or antimorphic.
I was asked to give examples of the different type of functions.

Were there any written tasks?


Which examples did you have to provide?

I mostly gave examples by myself. In the topic of Sentence production I explained different production models by way of example and gave examples of different speech errors.
For the cooperative principle I gave examples for different types of implicatures I was asked to give examples of different kinds of NPIs and licensors.

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

I was allowed to choose the first topic, which was good because I obviously chose the one I was best prepared for.
The examiners tried to point me towards the solution when I struggled deducing what type of function the given example was.
Generally the atmosphere was quite relaxed and I felt like the examiners did not intentionally ask "mean" questions.

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

There was a bit of small talk before the exam, besides that we got pretty straight to it. Generally the atmosphere was quite relaxed and I felt like the examiners did not intentionally ask "mean" questions.
I stepped outside for the grading. They justified the 1.3 by saying that I knew everything they ask, but sometimes struggled a bit sorting my thoughts and thus took a bit of time until I got things right.
They liked that I offered examples and some detailed explanation without being asked for which gave them the impression that I really did understand what I was talking about.

Is the examiner being led by the answers?

To a point. I probably talked 6-8 of the 10min. of each topic, which left less room for open questioning (1-3questions per topic). I think some questions were prepared before the exam, so either I answered them in my presentation of each topic, or they were asked after.

Concerning the behavior of the examiner:

Generally very friendly. I was not interrupted which I liked a lot.