Yoad Winter  main page  talks & papers  project  textbook
 sabar

Whereabouts: Teaching:   Messages:Drum Languages

Department of Languages, Literature & Communication and Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Utrecht University
Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht
The Netherlands

Semantics for AI  Intro Nasslli 2004

Communicatie in Trommeltalen
Ad. Topics in Cognitive Science
more courses

Recent Talks & Papers:

Far from obvious: semantics of locative indefinites  Senegalese drum language Plurals (handbook article)
paper with Mador Haim to appear in Language
paper with Scha
More talks & papers
Sabar: the drum language of Senegal
Cognitive Science Masters in Utrecht: a new track within the Utrecht AI master program
Workshop on concept composition and experimental semantics/pragmatics
Drafts from a formal semantics textbook in preparation, to appear with Edinburgh University Press.

Research Interests:

My research is in three domains within the study of human languages:

I - Formal Semantics: form and interpretation of language

Linguistic structures are systematically related to language use in actual communication. We see that most clearly when using language for making logical statements. When I tell you “most students in this room are vegetarian” I tell you something completely different than when I use the same words in the sentence “most vegetarians in this room are students”. The different forms of the two sentences create different meanings. Formal Semantics studies the workings of such meaning-form interactions. In my dissertation (Utrecht Univ. 1998) and subsequent book (MIT Press 2001), I studied operations that govern interpretations of plural, indefinite and coordinate constructions. I continue to work on the interface between meaning and form in these areas and other domains. Currently 
I am also completing an introductory textbook on Formal Semantics.

II - Computational Linguistics: automatic representation and processing of linguistic knowledge

I have been active in research on computational modeling of syntactic and semantic information especially in
textual entailment, morphological analysis, information extraction, and human interaction with geographic information systems. Together with colleagues and students, I was involved in developing the first annotated Hebrew treebank and MorphTagger – a general platform for analyzing forms of Semitic languages. In Computational Semantics I also worked in the framework of `Natural Logic’, and more recently, on annotating data of textual entailment.

III - African drum languages
Some years ago I got fascinated by the special linguistic properties of African drumming. O
n this subject I have been working in Senegal together with the family of grandmaster drummer Doudou Ndiaye Rose, and worked on characterizing grammatical aspects of  Senegalese traditions of playing the sabar drum.  Here you find some links to this work.

For a list of downloadable talk slides and papers see link.

Teaching (old):

Utrecht
Foundations  Semantics & Pragmatics
Conceptual Semantics
Computationele Grammatica's
Logic, Language and Cognition
Inleiding Taalkunde

Technion
Programming Languages (spring 2006)
Introduction to Natural Language Processing (spring 2006)
Systems for Treating Anaphora (fall 2005)
Computational Semantics for Natural Language (fall 2004)
Summer Schools etc.
Elements of Formal Semantics (LOT, spring 2009)
Elements of Compositional Semantics - course reader (ESSLLI, summer 2007)
Choice Functions and the Semantics of Indefinites (LOT, summer 2004)
Introduction to Vector Space Semantics (ESSLLI, summer 2001)
Topics in the Formal Semantics of the Noun Phrase (ESSLLI, summer 1999)
Modeltheoretic Semantics and the Syntax-Semantics Interface (Utrecht U., fall 1997)


























Photo by Hannah Kalverda, Tivaouane, Senegal, February 2009
photo by Hannah Kalverda - more photos
Books:


Flexibility Principles in Boolean Semantics
MIT Press 2001
  Table of Contents and Preface
  MIT Press display
  Endorsements
In Front of Your Nose - Selected Essays by George Orwell, Hebrew translation Dvir 2005
  Hebrew webpage
  English webpage