A practical introduction to natural language processing, a form of language study which uses special computer programs. The subject is explored through the discussion and development of various computer programs which illustrate basic concepts and techniques in the field. The programming language used, Prolog, is especially well-suited for natural language processing and for those with no previous background in computing. The text aims to help those with no experience in programming to produce simple, yet effective, programs using Prolog that will be capable of analyzing sentences in English. The main emphasis is on syntactic processing and the reader is led through gradually more complex techniques as different approaches to parsing are examined.
Clive Matthews is a lecturer in Linguistics at the University of East Anglia.