School of Computer Science

Module 06-21155 (2013)

Language & Logic

Level 1/C

Mark Lee Semester 1 10 credits
Co-ordinator: Mark Lee
Reviewer: Peter Hancox

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page.

Outline

The module provides some of the knowledge and skills necessary for the rigorous communication of information via natural language as well as formal languages.


Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide an understanding of the declarative portion of natural language
  • show how to analyse the information conveyed through statements
  • explain how to formalize this information content using rigorous natural language as well as formal languages such as symbolic logic
  • explain the notions of logical consequence, validity and consistency
  • show example applications of the rigorous use in Computer Science of natural language and formal languages such as symbolic logic
  • provide a foundation for further modules on formalising software requirements, information systems analysis, and information security policies
  • give an introduction to issues in natural language processing
  • provide a taster and motivation for studying more formal logic and reasoning systems

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

1 communicate information rigorously in natural language
2 analyse the information content of natural language statements by recognizing valid conclusions and identifying consistent collections of statements 3 analyse the structure of natural language arguments and identify classical fallacies
4 encode natural language statements in symbolic logic and make simple logical inferences
5 demonstrate knowledge of the Computer Science applications of rigorous natural language as well as formal languages such as symbolic logic


Restrictions


Teaching methods

2 hrs/week lectures, tutorials and exercise classes

Contact Hours: 23


Assessment

Sessional: 1.5 hr examination (80%), continuous assessment (20%).

Supplementary (where allowed): 1.5 hr examination (100%).


Detailed Syllabus

  1. Declarative language: problems due to ambiguity, vagueness, generality; Computer Science applications, e.g., security policies or software requirements
  2. Natural language structure: syntax, semantics and pragmatics
  3. Basics of argument structure: premises, conclusions, evidence
  4. Logical connectives and the propositional calculus: simple notions of truth, falsehood, validity and soundness
  5. Truthtables as a means to prove validity
  6. Natural deduction in Propositional Logic
  7. First Order Predicate Logic
  8. Natural deduction in Predicate Logic

Programmes containing this module