NLP Seminar: Prof. Robert Östling

Robert Östling, assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics at Stockholm University, Sweden, will give a talk at University of Copenhagen as part of the NLP Seminar Series, funded by CCC. The talk will start at 17:00, there will be refreshments from 16:30.


NLP and linguistics in the kilolanguage age


With digital texts available for thousands of languages, these are exciting times for both applied (NLP) and theoretical (linguistics) research. I work on both topics, and I am finding them increasingly difficult to separate. By developing fast and accurate tools for word alignment, it is possible to align large-scale parallel texts. The alignments in turn allow us to create multilingual word embeddings for all those languages. They also let us study grammatical features in detail, and for instance produce vectors representing the overall syntactic behavior of languages. Or, more exotic, vectors that represent the overall syntactic behavior of semantic concepts across languages. These turn out to show interesting patterns that have implications for both NLP and linguistics.


Robert Östling is an assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics at Stockholm University, Sweden. He has a PhD in linguistics from the same department, with a thesis on computational lingusitics. Before that he studied computer science and engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). During 2016 he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. His research is within the field of computational linguistics, where he has worked on word alignment, annotation transfer, machine translation, language modeling, linguistic variation, and more.