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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedic Treatment of NLP, Feb. 23 2013
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Speech and Language Processing (2nd Edition) (Hardcover)
Daniel Jurafsky and James Martin have assembled an incredible mass of information about natural language processing. The authors note that speech and language processing have largely non-overlapping histories that have relatively recently began to grow together. They have written this book to meet the need for a well-integrated discussion, historical and technical, of both fields.

In twenty-five chapters, the book covers the breadth of computational linguistics with an overall logical organization. Five chapter groupings organize material on Words, Speech, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics, and Applications. The four Applications chapters address Information Extraction, Question Answering and Summarization, Dialogue and Conversational Agents, and Machine Translation. The book covers a lot of ground, and a fifty-page bibliography directs readers to vast expanses beyond the book's horizon. The aging content problem present in all such books is addressed through the book's web site and numerous links to other sites, tools, and demonstrations. There is a lot of stuff.

While it is an achievement to assemble such a collection of relevant information, the book could be more useful than it is. An experienced editor could rearrange content into a more readable flow of information and increase the clarity of some of the authors' examples and explanations. As is, the book is a useful reference for researchers and practitioners already working in the field. A more clear presentation would lower the experience requirement and make its store of information available to students and non-specialists as well.

Readers looking for an introduction to natural language processing might find Manning and Schütze's Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, easier to understand. It is over ten years old, but worth reading for an understanding of basic concepts that are still relevant in the field.
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Speech and Language Processing (2nd Edition)
Speech and Language Processing (2nd Edition) by James H. Martin (Hardcover - May 16 2008)
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