"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.
Robust parsing and spoken negotiative dialogue with databases
This paper presents a robust parsing algorithm and semantic formalism for the interpretation of utterances in spoken negotiative dialogue with databases. The algorithm works in two passes: a domain-specific pattern-matching phase and a domain-independent semantic analysis phase. Robustness is achieved by limiting the set of representable utterance types to an empirically motivated subclass which is more expressive than propositional slot–value lists, but much less expressive than first-order logic. Our evaluation shows that in actual practice the vast majority of utterances that occur can be handled, and that the parsing algorithm is highly efficient and accurate.