||alex john djalali||


I am currently a 5th year PhD student in the linguistics department at Stanford University. I work in the areas of formal semantics and pragmatics, computational semantics and pragmatics, corpus linguistics, linguistic typology, and the mathematical foundations of optimality-theory. I recently defended my dissertation On adjectival comparatives.


  • Djalali, Alex and Sven Lauer. Models in Formal Semantics and Pragmatics. 26th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI). Tubingen, Germany: August 18-22, 2014.
  • Djalali, Alex. A compositional approach to natural logic. Nuance Silicon Valley NLU Discussion Group (NuSVN). Nuance, Sunnyvale, CA, July 6th, 2014.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2014). Quantifiers in comparative constructions of a variety of types. 88th Linguistic Society of America (88th LSA) Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN: January 2-5.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2013). Gradability and the logic of adjectival comparatives. California Universities Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (CUSP 6). University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, October 11-13.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2013). Extending a natural language proof theory: On ordinary comparatives. Natural Language and Computer Science 2013. Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, June 28.
  • Djalali, Alex and A. Anttila. (2013). A constructive solution to the ranking problem in Partial Order Optimality Theory. 21st Manchester Phonology Meeting (MFM 21), University of Manchester, Manchester, England, May 23-25.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2012). Reasoning across time and the syntacticization of semantics. California Universities Semantics and Pragmatics 5 (CUSP 5). San Diego, CA: University of California at San Diego, October 27-28.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2012). If you own it, then it exists; if you love it, that says something about you not it: Semantically Conditioned Case in Finnish. West Cost Conference on Formal Linguistics 30 (WCCFL 30). Santa Cruz, CA: University of California at Santa Cruz, April 13-15.
  • Djalali, Alex, S. Lauer and C. Potts. (2011). Corpus evidence for preference-driven interpretation. 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. University of Amsterdam, December 19-22.
  • Djalali, Alex, D. Clausen, S. Lauer, K. Schultz, and C. Potts. (2011). Modeling expert effects and common ground using questions under discussion. AAAI Workshop on Building Representations of Common Ground with Intelligent Agents. Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Articial Intelligence, November 4-6.
  • Djalali, Alex and C. Potts. (2011). Synthetic logic characterizations of meanings extracted from large corpora, Workshop on Natural Logic, Proof Theory, and Computational Semantics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, April 8-9.
  • Djalali, Alex, S. Grimm, D. Clausen and B. Levin. (2011) What can be ground? Noun type, constructions, and the Universal grinder. 37th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS 37), Berkeley, CA, February 12-13.

  • Djalali, Alex. (2014) JavaNatLog. Java Package.
    A Java module that is a computational implementation of a version of Bill MacCartney's Natural Logic.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2014). SentiScorer. Python Package.
    A Python module for compositionally determining the sentiment expressed by a particular sentence.
  • Djalali, Alex and Cameron Jeffers. (2013). PyOTOrders. Python Package.
    PyOTOrders is a Python module that is a computational implementation of my solution to the ranking problem in Partial Order Optimality Theory.
  • Jeffers, Cameron and Alex Djalali. (2013). OTOrder. Web Application.
    OTOrders is a web-based application that implements PyOTOrders using Flask and MongoDB.
  • Djalali, Alex. (2013). House Proceedings Corpus. Corpus.
    The House Proceedings Corpus (HPC) is a highly structured corpus of complete congressional house proceedings that contains over 2,700 transcripts, tagged for part-of-speech (POS) using the Stanford POS tagger. The HPC is comprised of individual .JSON files to avoid data-corruption and easily importable into a MongoDB. The HPC has 181,648,994 tokens with a vocabulary of 314,031 words.
  • Potts, Christopher, Alex Djalali & Sven Lauer. (2011). Card Corpus. Corpus.
    The Card Corpus includes 744 task-oriented dialogues collected with the goal of informing models of pragmatics and discourse. The corpus distribution includes Python and R code for working with the corpus as well as a slide show documenting its properties and reporting on some pilot studies.


My dissertation is entitled "On adjectival comparatives" and provides a syntactico-semantic analysis of adjectival comparatives. My dissertation defense slides can be found here. A first draft of the dissertation will be up mid-January. For now, email me for a copy.

  • Chapter 1: Introduction.
  • Chapter 2: A look back.
  • Chapter 3: The basic system.
  • Chapter 4: First steps.
  • Chapter 5: Moving farther.