Jacob Collard

Cornell University

Department of Linguistics



I am a Ph.D. student in the Cornell University department of linguistics and a consultant at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. My main research interests are in computational models of computational semantics and undsupervised learning for syntax and semantics. In particular, I am interesting in realistic computational learning algorithms and finite-state representations of knowledge and meaning. My research involves the interface between syntax and semantics as well as the relationship between computer science, linguistics, and cognitive science.


I am currently working on an algorithm for unsupervised learning of syntax in various formalisms, including Combinatory Categorial Grammar, Relational Grammar, and Minimalism. This algorithm learns from strings and a small seed lexicon, making it highly unsupervised.

I am also working on a finite-state model of possible world semantics capable of efficiently representing regular sets of worlds and relations between them. The system is fully compositional, with well-defined lexical semantics. The system can be efficiently used for applications such as natural language interfaces for games or knowledge systems.


  • LING1101: Introduction to Linguistics (Fall 2017) (TA)
  • LING4424: Computational Linguistics (Spring 2017) (TA)
  • LING1100-103: The Death of Language (Fall 2016) (Instructor)


I am currently the senior editor of Semantics and Linguistic Theory, this being my second year on the team.