Igor A. Bolshakov and Alexander Gelbukh
2004, 186 pp.
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Abstract: Can computers meaningfully process human language? If this is difficult, why? If this is possible, how? This book introduces the reader to the fascinating science of computational linguistics and automatic natural language processing, which combines linguistics and artificial intelligence. The main part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the inner working of a linguistic processor, a software module in charge of translating natural language input into a representation directly usable by traditional artificial intelligence applications and, vice versa, of translating their answer into human language. Overall emphasis in the book is made on a well-elaborated, though—for a number of historical reasons—so far little-known in the literature computational linguistic model called Meaning-Text Theory. For comparison, other models and formalisms are considered in detail. The book is mainly oriented to researchers and students interested in applications of natural language processing techniques to Spanish language. In particular, most of the examples given in the book deal with Spanish language material—which is a feature of the book distinguishing it from other books on natural language processing. However, our main exposition is sufficiently general to be applicable to a wide range of languages. Specifically, it was taken into account that many readers of the book will be Spanish native speakers. For them, some comments on the English terminology, as well as a short English-Spanish dictionary of technical terms used in the book, were included. Still, reading the book in English will help Spanish-speaking readers to become familiar with the style and terminology used in the scientific literature on the subject.
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A new book on computational linguistics
Objectives and intended readers of the book
Coordination with computer science
Coordination with artificial intelligence
The role of natural language processing
What we mean by computational linguistics
The important role of the fundamental science
Current state of applied research on Spanish
Initial contribution of Chomsky
The linguistic research after Chomsky: Valencies and interpretation
Linguistic research after Chomsky: Constraints
Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar
The Meaning ⇔ Text Theory: Multistage transformer and government patterns
The Meaning ⇔ Text Theory: Dependency trees
The Meaning ⇔ Text Theory: Semantic links
III. Products of Computational Linguistics: Present and Prospective
Classification of applied linguistic systems
References to words and word combinations
Extraction of factual data from texts
Systems of language understanding
IV. Language as a Meaning ⇔ Text Transformer
Possible points of view on natural language
Language as a bi-directional transformer
Decomposition and atomization of Meaning
Not-uniqueness of Meaning ⇒ Text mapping: Synonymy
Not-uniqueness of Text ⇒ Meaning mapping: homonymy
Multistage character of the Meaning ⇔ Text transformer
Translation as a multistage transformation
Are signifiers given by nature or by convention?
Generative, mtt, and constraint ideas in comparison
Common features of modern models of language
Specific features of the Meaning ⇔ Text Model
Do we really need linguistic models?
Empirical versus rationalist approaches
Limited scope of the modern linguistic theories
Problems recommended for exams
General grammars and dictionaries
Some Spanish-oriented groups and resources
English-Spanish dictionary of terminology