Language and Computers

Language and Computers

Markus Dickinson, Chris Brew

Language: English

Pages: 250

ISBN: 1405183055

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Language and Computers introduces students to the fundamentals of how computers are used to represent, process, and organize textual and spoken information. Concepts are grounded in real-world examples familiar to students’ experiences of using language and computers in everyday life.

  • A real-world introduction to the fundamentals of how computers process language, written specifically for the undergraduate audience, introducing key concepts from computational linguistics.
  • Offers a comprehensive explanation of the problems computers face in handling natural language
  • Covers a broad spectrum of language-related applications and issues, including major computer applications involving natural language and the social and ethical implications of these new developments
  • The book focuses on real-world examples with which students can identify, using these to explore the technology and how it works
  • Features “under-the-hood” sections that give greater detail on selected advanced topics, rendering the book appropriate for more advanced courses, or for independent study by the motivated reader.

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inferences about what the other person must be thinking and intending. A first step toward building a computer that can do the same is to develop precise descriptions of how this process actually works in human–human dialog. In this chapter, we outline some of the concepts that dialog researchers use to describe dialogs and indicate how computers can use them. The key ideas are speech acts, dialog moves, and conversational maxims, all of which will be discussed. Neither the listener’s

resemblance to anything horse-like. Figure 1.8 US National Park Service symbols (pictographs) Figure 1.9 The Chinese character for “horse” Figure 1.10 Semantic–Phonetic Compounds used in writing Chinese There are characters in Chinese that prevent us from calling the writing system a fully meaning-based system. Semantic-phonetic compounds are symbols with a meaning element and a phonetic element. An example is given in Figure 1.10, where we can see that, although both words are pronounced

have developed two approaches. Both approaches temporarily give up on the idea of human–computer dialog, but try to collect information that will be useful in shaping the design of the final system. The first of these approaches replaces human–computer dialog with a carefully disguised human–human dialog. As far as the user is concerned, the system seems like a computer, but actually, behind the scenes, it is being driven by a human being who takes on the role of the computer. This approach is

linguistics paper. We should not expect a machine translation system to be any better at meeting this specialized need. 7.2.2 What is machine translation really for? In Chapters 2 and 4, we described technology that supports the everyday scholarly activities of information gathering and writing. Each one of you already knows much about these activities. The role of the computer is to help out with the aspects of the process that it does well, and to keep out of the way when the human writer

sentence, not analyzing them in any deep way. The translation triangle illustrates the fact that if you work at the level of words, source and target languages are quite far apart. For some uses, such as example-based methods for highly stereotyped and repetitious texts, such direct approaches to translation work well enough, but broadly speaking they are insufficient for more general tasks. The labels on the body of the triangle represent various different kinds of similarities and differences

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