Sunday, 11 March 2018
Natural Language Processing with Python
This is a book about Natural Language Processing. By “natural language” we mean a language that is used for everyday communication by humans; languages such as English, Hindi, or Portuguese. In contrast to artificial languages such as programming languages and mathematical notations, natural languages have evolved as they pass from generation to generation, and are hard to pin down with explicit rules. We will take Natural Language Processing—or NLP for short—in a wide sense to cover any kind of computer manipulation of natural language. At one extreme, it could be as simple as counting word frequencies to compare different writing styles. At the other extreme, NLP involves “understanding” complete human utterances, at least to the extent of being able to give useful responses to them.
This book provides a highly accessible introduction to the field of NLP. It can be used for individual study or as the textbook for a course on natural language processing or computational linguistics, or as a supplement to courses in artificial intelligence, text mining, or corpus linguistics. The book is intensely practical, containing hundreds of fully worked examples and graded exercises. The book is based on the Python programming language together with an open source library called the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK). NLTK includes extensive software, data, and documentation, all freely downloadable from http://www.nltk.org/.