Language is something that binds all of the people who speak the same tongue. It is a means of binding cultures and communities. When you see a piece of writing on a piece of paper or a screen, you can comprehend what it is, because you can read that language. However, computers understand language as mere symbols and structures rather than alphabets. Each command you give on your computer keyboard indicates a different alphabet, but your computer can understand what the command means because its understanding is programmed into it. Here is where the concept of natural language processing (or NLP) comes in.
Natural language processing is a branch of computer science, as well as linguistics. It comes under the topic of computational linguistics, which is the study of human language and how it interacts with computers. Computers understand the semantic structures of sentences as we feed them into machines. Computational linguistics and natural language processing can be quite helpful for people who work on artificial intelligence, cognitive science, language engineering, etc. Here is a list of books to help you better understand one of the most functional fields in linguistics, natural language processing.
8 Great Books To Help You Understand Natural Language Processing:
1. Speech And Language Processing By Daniel Jurafsky & James H Martin:
This book is written by two professors – one from Stanford University and the second from the University of Colorado, respectively. Moreover, the book gives you great insights about NLP if you are only just getting into it relatively newly. The authors are currently working on a third edition, while the second one is out on Amazon for purchase.
2. Natural Language Understanding By James Allen:
Another book for NLP rookies, Allen, in this book, talks about NLP systems and how to build them. Moreover, it explains the concept in layman’s terms without any technical words that would confuse the reader.
3. Handbook Of Natural Language Processing By Nitin Indurkhya & Fred J Damerau:
There are currently two editions of this book available. The first edition talks about the empirical and symbolic (which come under classical), and statistical approaches to NLP. In the following text, Indurkhya and Damerau pay more attention to analytical methods, and also talk about languages other than English, in this.
4. The Handbook Of Computational Linguistics And Natural Language Processing By Alexander Clark, Chris Fox, And Shalom Lappin:
This book by Clark, Fox, and Lappin, focuses on theoretical issues in NLP and computational linguistics. It also gives you a full outline of everything theoretical there is to know about NLP. Aside from this, the book also includes various methodologies and applications used in the natural language processing system.
5. The Oxford Handbook Of Computational Linguistics By Ruslan Mitkov:
Most of the books listed above are research books for graduate and doctorate scientists, so the language may not be that easy to understand. This book explains the theories and applications of natural language processing so that people who are not specialists, or even those who have only an undergraduate degree, can easily understand what it is. Even for those who have high degrees, the book is handy.