"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
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.
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.
A topological embedding of the lexicon for semantic distance computation
We show how a quantitative context may be established for what is essentially qualitative in nature by topologically embedding a lexicon (here, WordNet) in a complete metric space. This novel transformation establishes a natural connection between the order relation in the lexicon (e.g., hyponymy) and the notion of distance in the metric space, giving rise to effective word-level and document-level lexical semantic distance measures. We provide a formal account of the topological transformation and demonstrate the value of our metrics on several experiments involving information retrieval and document clustering tasks.