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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: Strengths and weaknesses of finite-state technology: a case study in morphological grammar development
Author: Shuly Wintner
Institution: University of Haifa
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Phonology
Abstract: Finite-state technology is considered the preferred model for representing the phonology and morphology of natural languages. The attractiveness of this technology for natural language processing stems from four sources: modularity of the design, due to the closure properties of regular languages and relations; the compact representation that is achieved through minimization; efficiency, which is a result of linear recognition time with finite-state devices; and reversibility, resulting from the declarative nature of such devices. However, when wide-coverage morphological grammars are considered, finite-state technology does not scale up well, and the benefits of this technology can be overshadowed by the limitations it imposes as a programming environment for language processing. This paper investigates the strengths and weaknesses of existing technology, focusing on various aspects of large-scale grammar development. Using a real-world case study, we compare a finite-state implementation with an equivalent Java program with respect to ease of development, modularity, maintainability of the code, and space and time efficiency. We identify two main problems, and, which are currently not addressed sufficiently well by finite-state technology, and which we believe should be the focus of future research and development.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 14, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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