Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: Bootstrapping spoken dialogue systems by exploiting reusable libraries
Author: Giuseppe Di Fabbrizio
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: Gokhan Tur
Author: Dilek Hakkani-Tür
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: Mazin Gilbert
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: Bernard Renger
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: David Gibbon
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: Zhu Liu
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Author: Bahzad Shahraray
Institution: AT&T Labs – Research
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Discipline of Linguistics
Abstract: Building natural language spoken dialogue systems requires large amounts of human transcribed and labeled speech utterances to reach useful operational service performances. Furthermore, the design of such complex systems consists of several manual steps. The User Experience (UE) expert analyzes and defines by hand the system core functionalities: the system semantic scope (call-types) and the dialogue manager strategy that will drive the human–machine interaction. This approach is extensive and error-prone since it involves several nontrivial design decisions that can be evaluated only after the actual system deployment. Moreover, scalability is compromised by time, costs, and the high level of UE know-how needed to reach a consistent design. We propose a novel approach for bootstrapping spoken dialogue systems based on the reuse of existing transcribed and labeled data, common reusable dialogue templates, generic language and understanding models, and a consistent design process. We demonstrate that our approach reduces design and development time while providing an effective system without any application-specific data.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 14, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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