Many NLP tasks have at their core a subtask of extracting the dependencies (who did what to whom) from natural language sentences. This task can be understood as the inverse of the problem solved in different ways by diverse human languages, namely, how to indicate the relationship between different parts of a sentence. Understanding how languages solve the problem can be extremely useful in both feature design and error analysis in the application of machine learning to NLP. Likewise, understanding cross-linguistic variation can be important for the design of MT systems and other multilingual applications. The purpose of this book is to present in a succinct and accessible fashion information about the morphological and syntactic structure of human languages that can be useful in creating more linguistically sophisticated, more language-independent, and thus more successful NLP systems.
Table of Contents
Parts of speech
Heads, arguments, and adjuncts
Argument types and grammatical functions
Mismatches between syntactic position and semantic roles
Index of Languages
About the Author(s)Emily M. Bender
, University of Washington
Emily M. Bender is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Her primary research interests lie in multilingual grammar engineering and the incorporation of linguistic knowledge, especially from linguistic typology, in NLP. She is the PI of the Grammar Matrix project, which is developed in the context of the DELPH-IN Consortium (Deep Linguistic Processing with HPSG Initiative). More generally, she is interested in the intersection of linguistics and computational linguistics, from both directions: bringing computational methodologies to linguistic science and linguistic science to natural language processing. Her PhD (in linguistics) is from Stanford University. She has authored or co-authored papers in Linguistic Issues in Language Technology, the Journal of Research on Language and Computation, English Language and Linguistics, the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, and the proceedings of ACL, COLING, IJCNLP, and associated workshops.
In general Linguistic Fundamentals for Natural Language Processing is a good reference text for linguistics. The layout is very convenient for quick reference. While other introductions to linguistics may be aimed specifically at students of linguistics or a general audience - for example Larry Trask's Introducing Linguistics (Trask and Mayblin 2005) - this work is targetted specifically at researchers in NLP, particularly those from a non-linguistics background. The book generally succeeds in its aims and has a lot to offer. However, I certainly think that there is room for a similar work, more directed at MT, and with a more diverse coverage of languages, and more practical, corpus-based, coverage of syntax.Francis Morton Tyers - in Machine Translation