in Moon Cafe, Pushkar

Mats Rooth

Professor, Director of Computational Linguistics Lab
(PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1985)

Department of Linguistics
203A Morrill Hall 607 255-0716

Additional affiliation: Faculty of Computing and Information Science


I do research in two areas, computational linguistics and natural language semantics. I have worked extensively on mixed symbolic/probabilistic models of syntax and the lexicon, on contrastive intonation (what is called focus), and on related phenomena such as ellipsis and presupposition. In addition to these, I am currently working on finite state models of phonology and phonetics.

Selected Publications

Abusch, Dorit and Mats Rooth (2017). The formal semantics of free perception in pictorial narratives. 21st Amsterdam Colloquium (pdf).

Rooth, Mats (2017). Finite state intensional semantics. International Conference on Computational Semantics, Montpellier, Sept. 2017. (

Howell, Jonathan, Mats Rooth, and Michael Wagner (2017). Acoustic classification of focus: On the web and in the lab. Laboratory Phonology 8(1), 16. (; preprint

Rooth, Mats and Dorit Abusch (2017). Picture descriptions and centered content. Sinn und Bedeutung 21 (pdf).

Rooth, Mats (2016). Alternative semantics. In Caroline Féry and Shinichiro Ishihara (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Information Structure . Oxford: Oxford University Press (book info, preprint).

Rooth, Mats (2015). Representing focus scoping over new. In Thuy Bai and Deniz Özyildiz (eds.) Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeing of the North East Linguisic Society. Doi 1813/40860.

Rooth, Mats (2014). Operators for definition by paraphrase. In a Festschrift for Ede Zimmermann: Approaches to Meaning: Composition, Values, and Interpretation, edited by Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Kopping and Cécile Meier (book info, postprint).

Lutz, David, Parry Cadwallader and Mats Rooth (2013). A web application for filtering and annotating web speech data. Web as Corpus 8, July 2013. Doi 1813/33464.

Data and Software

Rooth, Mats, (2015). Kaldi-alignments-matlab. Display and play Kaldi phone alignments. Github.

Rooth, Mats, (2014). Replication data for: Operators for definition by paraphrase, doi:10.7910/DVN/25512 Harvard Dataverse Network [Distributor] V1 [Version].

Recent and Upcoming Presentations

Formal semantics of pictorial narratives. ESSLLI 2018, 30th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information, Sofia, August 2018 (overview).

Picture descriptions and centered content. Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Edinburgh, September 2016 (abstract, slides).

Representing focus scoping over new. NELS 45, MIT, Nov. 2014 (slides, audio).

Cognitive Science Colloquium, University of Delaware, March 2014.

Presentation at workshop Focus sensitive particles from a cross-linguistic perspective. Bar Ilan University, February 2014.