Syntactic Analysis / Syntactic parsing

  • Course date: Spring 2018
  • Teachers:
    • Sara Stymne: course coordinator, examiner, lectures, seminars, supervision
    • Joakim Nivre: seminar, lecture, supervision


  • 18-02-20: Note that the lecture today, February 20, is at 14-16 as specified in timeedit, not 10-12 as previously specified on this page!
  • 18-02-12: The room for the seminars on Wednesday 14 has been changed from 9-2029 to 9-3068.
  • 18-02-06: Groups and questions for the first seminar on February 14 are now posted. Note that each student will only attend a 45 minutes seminar.
  • 18-01-26: The final deadlines for the project and for assigment 3 have been moved from Friday March 23 to Monday March 26. This is due to a student request. It is still equally important that you plan your workload between this and your other course carefully, in order to be able to carry our all tasks on time.
  • 18-01-11: The information on this page should now be complete. Note that there was a late schedule change. The lecture on January 23 is cancelled, and there is a lecture on February 2 instead.


These courses give an introduction to methods and algorithms used in automatic syntactic analysis and provides the skills that are required to apply and implement practical systems based on these methods. The courses cover both phrase structure analysis and dependency analysis.

Examination 5LN713/5LN717 (master)

The course is examined by three assignments, two literature seminars, and a project (only for 7.5 credits).
  1. Assignment 1: PCFG parsing Implement the CKY parsing algorithm and evaluate the parser using treebank data. Detailed description Deadline: 2018-02-16.
  2. Assignment 2: Literature review Summarize, analyze and critically review two scientific articles on syntactic parsing in a written report of 3 pages. Detailed description Deadline: 2018-03-07.
  3. Assignment 3: Dependency parsing Implement a transition-based parsing algorithm and evaluate the parser using treebank data. Detailed description Deadline: 2018-03-26.
  4. Literature seminar: Actively participate in two literature seminars.
  5. Project (only for 7.5 hp course). Detailed description
    Deadline for defining a project: 2018-02-26.
    Deadline for handing in the project report: 2018-03-26.
    If you do the project in pairs, you also have an informal oral discussion with your teacher on 2018-03-22.

In order to pass the course, a student must pass all assignments (and do the project for 7.5 credits). In order to pass the course with distinction (Väl godkänt), a student must pass at least two assignments (or one assignment and the project) with distinction. The seminars are not graded.


Each assignment has a deadline, which is announced well in advance, see above. Each deadline is at the respective date at 23.59, and all submissions should be done through studentportalen. In case you fail to meet the deadline, you have the chance to re-submit the assignment for a second deadline, which for all assignments is 2018-04-20. In case you fail to meet even the second deadline, the corresponding assignment will be graded as Fail (U). (See Språkteknologiprogrammens Policy för examination (In Swedish) and Examination and continued studies.

Assignments will only be graded in connection with each deadline. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you will have to retake the course the next time it is given. Which will most probably be spring 2019. In case of special circumstances, please contact your teacher BEFORE the deadline it concerns.


There are two literature seminars during the course, which are common for bachelor and master students. In order to get a passing grade on the seminars you need to prepare for them, and be active during the seminar. Detailed description.

The seminars will be held in smaller groups, which will be announced later.

The two seminars are obligatory. If you miss a seminar, or do not participate actively, you will have to do a complementary task. Contact Sara if this is the case.


Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin. Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition. Second Edition, Pearson Education, 2009. (Main course book.)

Sandra Kübler, Ryan McDonald, and Joakim Nivre. Dependency Parsing. Morgan and Claypool, 2009. (Electronic edition)

Two research articles on parsing to be discussed during the literature seminars:

Additional reading is required for the master student courses. The following is a starting point: