Formalizing Natural Languages: The NooJ Approach

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This book is at the very heart of linguistics. It provides the theoretical and methodological framework needed to create a successful linguistic project.

Potential applications of descriptive linguistics include spell-checkers, intelligent search engines, information extractors and annotators, automatic summary producers, automatic translators, and more. These applications have considerable economic potential, and it is therefore important for linguists to make use of these technologies and to be able to contribute to them.

The author provides linguists with tools to help them formalize natural languages and aid in the building of software able to automatically process texts written in natural language (Natural Language Processing, or NLP).

Computers are a vital tool for this, as characterizing a phenomenon using mathematical rules leads to its formalization. NooJ – a linguistic development environment software developed by the author – is described and practically applied to examples of NLP.

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Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jan 11, 2016
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Pages
346
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ISBN
9781119264132
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Anaïd Donabédian
NooJ is a linguistic development environment that provides tools for linguists to construct linguistic resources that formalise a large gamut of linguistic phenomena: typography, orthography, lexicons for simple words, multiword units and discontinuous expressions, inflectional and derivational morphology, local, structural and transformational syntax, and semantics.

For each resource that linguists create, NooJ provides parsers that can apply it to any corpus of texts in order to extract examples or counter-examples, to annotate matching sequences, to perform statistical analyses, etc. NooJ also contains generators that can produce the texts that these linguistic resources describe, as well as a rich toolbox that allows linguists to construct, maintain, test, debug, accumulate and reuse linguistic resources. For each elementary linguistic phenomenon to be described, NooJ proposes a set of computational formalisms, the power of which ranges from very efficient finite-state automata to very powerful Turing machines. This makes NooJ’s approach different from most other computational linguistic tools that typically offer a unique formalism to their users.

Since it was released in 2002, NooJ has been enhanced with new features every year. Linguists, researchers in the social sciences and, more generally, professionals who analyse texts have contributed to its development and participated in the annual NooJ conference. Since 2011, the European project Meta-Net CESAR has introduced new interest in NooJ as well as a new set of projects, both in linguistics and in computer science. The present volume contains 18 articles selected from the 32 papers presented at the International NooJ 2012 Conference which was held from June 14th to 16th at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. These articles are organised in three parts: “Vocabulary and Morphology” contains five articles; “Syntax and Semantics” contains six articles; “NooJ Applications” contains six articles. In this volume, we decided to add a new part: eight short papers that present prototype NooJ modules developed by graduate students and that could serve as bases for more ambitious projects.

Tamás Váradi
NooJ is both a corpus processing tool and a linguistic development environment: it allows linguists to formalize several levels of linguistic phenomena: orthography and spelling, lexicons for simple words, multiword units and frozen expressions, inflectional, derivational and productive morphology, local, structural syntax and transformational syntax. For each of these levels, NooJ provides linguists with one or more formal tools specifically designed to facilitate the description of each phenomenon, as well as parsing tools designed to be as computationally efficient as possible. This approach distinguishes NooJ from most computational linguistic tools, which provide a single formalism that should describe everything. As a corpus processing tool, NooJ allows users to apply sophisticated linguistic queries to large corpora in order to build indices and concordances, annotate texts automatically, perform statistical analyses, etc.

NooJ is freely available and linguistic modules can already be downloaded for Acadian, Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, French, English, German, Hebrew, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

The present volume contains papers from the 2008 International NooJ conference which was held 8–10 June 2008 in Budapest. While the focus of the Budapest conference was on making NooJ compatible with other applications, the papers vary with respect to whether they regard Natural Language Processing (NLP) as a research goal or as a tool. However, they all present a slightly different problem either in the field of NLP, or in one that can be solved using NLP, or present a new development in the tool itself. The range of problems dealt with in the volume is quite varied, which will hopefully enable the readers to find contributions that are relevant to their field of interest.

Anaïd Donabédian
NooJ is a linguistic development environment that provides tools for linguists to construct linguistic resources that formalise a large gamut of linguistic phenomena: typography, orthography, lexicons for simple words, multiword units and discontinuous expressions, inflectional and derivational morphology, local, structural and transformational syntax, and semantics.

For each resource that linguists create, NooJ provides parsers that can apply it to any corpus of texts in order to extract examples or counter-examples, to annotate matching sequences, to perform statistical analyses, etc. NooJ also contains generators that can produce the texts that these linguistic resources describe, as well as a rich toolbox that allows linguists to construct, maintain, test, debug, accumulate and reuse linguistic resources. For each elementary linguistic phenomenon to be described, NooJ proposes a set of computational formalisms, the power of which ranges from very efficient finite-state automata to very powerful Turing machines. This makes NooJ’s approach different from most other computational linguistic tools that typically offer a unique formalism to their users.

Since it was released in 2002, NooJ has been enhanced with new features every year. Linguists, researchers in the social sciences and, more generally, professionals who analyse texts have contributed to its development and participated in the annual NooJ conference. Since 2011, the European project Meta-Net CESAR has introduced new interest in NooJ as well as a new set of projects, both in linguistics and in computer science. The present volume contains 18 articles selected from the 32 papers presented at the International NooJ 2012 Conference which was held from June 14th to 16th at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. These articles are organised in three parts: “Vocabulary and Morphology” contains five articles; “Syntax and Semantics” contains six articles; “NooJ Applications” contains six articles. In this volume, we decided to add a new part: eight short papers that present prototype NooJ modules developed by graduate students and that could serve as bases for more ambitious projects.

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