You will write a wikipedia-like article on some linguistic topic (not a CL or NLP topic).

1. Logistics

  1. There are 4 milestones (see the main course page for dates):
    1. Your selected topic for approval.
    2. Half a page summary (can be bullets) with at least 5 reliable sources
    3. Article: a draft version - I will provide feedback
    4. the final version
  2. Use Google docs or the cloud version of MS Word 365. Do not use email attachments for milestone 3 and 4.
  3. Start the article with a title and your name, so I do not need to match your emails/nicknames against older notes.
  4. Give me full edit rights (so I can see the history of your edits and can add comments)
  5. The name of the article should be NPFL063 + the name of your article)
  6. Email me when your outline, draft or final version are ready for review. Start the subject of your email with "NPFL063 Article" (do not rely on the sharing notification only, it is easy to overlook)
  7. Keep in mind that it takes about a week (or more if I get a lot of articles at once) before you get my feedback. Email me if you do not receive feedback within 2 weeks.
  8. If for some reason you cannot meet a deadline, talk to me. But talk to me before the deadline, not after you miss it. Otherwise you loose points.

2. Format and Content

  1. The article should be approximately 2000 words long (excluding references). Please, do not pad your text with meaningless words just to increase your word-count.
  2. The article should be written as a survey or encyclopaedia article (e.g. an article for Wikipedia or Wiley's Compass). The article is not supposed to present original research.
  3. You must use references - see below.
  4. Organize your article around topics not around papers.
  5. This is not an NLP/CL class. Do not write only about the computational aspects of the problem. You might add a short section about it if appropriate, but the core of the article should be linguistic.
  6. This is not a history class. Therefore, discuss interesting linguistic problems and approaches to their solution, not that A created system X in year Z. Instead, discuss the problem system X aimed to solve, the way it approached it, and compare it with other approaches to the same problem.
  7. Use examples in your explanation. In-line examples should be in italics, non-English examples need glosses in single quotes. For example:
    The Czech noun domek `small house' ends with k.
  8. Terms that are not directly relevant for your topic should be "explained" by linking them to English wikipedia.
  9. Try to use correct and clear English, but I will not grade your grammar and spelling. Although using English is recommended, you can write the articles in Czech. You must use a spell-checker in either language: spelling below incorrectly as bellow does not influence your grade, while spelling it as bbelow does (the former is a word and thus it is not caught by a spell-checker).
  10. Ask a friend to read your article and to give you feedback (But you have to write it by yourself).
  11. The article should have a logical structure. Split it into several sections and name those sections appropriately. The introduction should provide a simple motivation (maybe an example) and say what the article will be about. The conclusion should summarize what the article was about and maybe list open issues.

3. Sources

  1. You have to use at least 5 reliable sources. You can use Google Scholar, ACL Anthology, CiteSeer, databases accessible via our library, and obviously traditional books in the library.
  2. You should not cite more than two encyclopedic articles.
  3. You can use the corresponding wikipedia article as an inspiration, but do not use it as a direct source.
  4. For every statement/idea, it must be clear what is its source. Your sources must be clearly referenced.
    1. If possible specify which page from the article/book you cite.
    2. Use the APA or LSA citing style.
    3. If a whole section is based on one source, it is enough to add a footnote to the section title.
    4. If some statement is without a source, I will assume it is your original idea or interpretation.
  5. Focus on the result of papers and their contribution to the field, not technical details.
  6. The article is not a legal document, so avoid direct quotes as much as possible (unless the exact wording is important). Each person has their style of writing; therefore an article made up of direct quotes is extremely hard to read because it mixes so many different writing styles. Use paraphrases or summaries instead. So instead of:
    Acording to Billard (1975), slave captains "document the lack of language mixing in the early slave trade."
    Use something like this:
    Acording to Billard (1975), there was no language mixing during the transport of slaves to America.

4. Sample topics

If a topic you would like to work on is already taken, talk to me, I can help you to find something similar.

  • Bilingualism
  • Artificial languages (in general or some particular language)
  • How babies learn word segmentation
  • Acquisition of irregular verbs
  • Sign language Grammar
  • Idioms and/or euphemisms
  • Metathesis, agglutinative, reduplication morphology
  • Clitics in general or in some language (Spanish)
  • Development of Czech/Slavic/English/Old English/Germanic/Indo-European language(s)
  • Romani (Gypsy) language (grammar, dialects and/or history)
  • Long movement in Czech/English (Co jsi ríkala, ze Pavel si myslí, ze Honza udelal. - Co refers to what Honza udelal, not what she said)
  • Any interesting phenomenon in any language
  • Czech/Slovak/English dialects