Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Language and Computers

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeLING123
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian; English if students who do not speak Norwegian participate.
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

This course treats the formal foundations for the description of language and computational methods for processing language. The aim is to enable students to think in a mathematically precise way when characterizing a language, and to use computer tools and programming to process written language.

The course gives an introduction to formal methods in linguistics. It also gives an introduction in the digital encoding of text, in electronic language resources (in particular, corpora), computer programming (using a language such as Python), language processing and language technology applications. This course is targeted at students in linguistics, language studies, computer science, information science, artificial intelligence and cognitive science.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • explain basic formal methods that are used in research and development of syntax, semantics and natural language processing, e.g. graphs and trees, automata, formal grammars, language classification in the Chomsky hierarchy, algorithms and complexity;
  • explain important thinking about automata, grammars and formal languages, e.g. the pumping lemma;
  • write simple correct programs for manipulating textual data;
  • write regular expressions for search and replacement in text;
  • extract information from text on the world wide web;
  • use induction as a proof method;
  • use correct mathematical formulas:
  • use text corpora as empirical material;
  • assess text on the world wide web as data;

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

EXFAC00SK or equivalent.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

INFO132 (5 credits), DATA110 (5 credits), INF100 (5 credits), INF620 (5 credits), DIGI111 (2,5 credits).

Access to the Course

This course is open to all who have been accepted as students at the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures (about 26 hours per semester), individual study and exercises, including computer programming.

If fewer than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department's guidelines regarding this on "Mitt UiB". For courses where this is a possibility, the students get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration February 1 / September 1.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The candidate must hand in two obligatory assignments, which must be carried out and approved in the semester of teaching. Obligatory learning activities must be approved before one can take the exam in the course. Approval remains valid for three semesters in total, including the semester of teaching.

Forms of Assessment

Digital 4-hour written exam.

Examination Support Material

No aids are allowed.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Spring. There is also an exam early in the fall semester for students with valid and approved obligatory assignments.

Reading List

The literature consists mainly of descriptions of formal and computational methods, including guidelines for and examples of programming, about 400 pages.

Course Evaluation

Evaluation of the offered course will be carried out in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assessment system.


Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    01.06.2023, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam