[Corpora-List] New book: Piotrowski, Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts

Graeme Hirst gh at cs.toronto.edu
Fri Nov 23 21:56:22 CET 2012


NEW BOOK

Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts by Michael Piotrowski, Leibniz Institute of European History, Germany

Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies #17 (Morgan & Claypool Publishers), 2012, 157 pages

Abstract

More and more historical texts are becoming available in digital form. Digitization of paper documents is motivated by the aim of preserving cultural heritage and making it more accessible, both to laypeople and scholars. As digital images cannot be searched for text, digitization projects increasingly strive to create digital text, which can be searched and otherwise automatically processed, in addition to facsimiles. Indeed, the emerging field of digital humanities heavily relies on the availability of digital text for its studies.

Together with the increasing availability of historical texts in digital form, there is a growing interest in applying natural language processing (NLP) methods and tools to historical texts. However, the specific linguistic properties of historical texts -- the lack of standardized orthography, in particular -- pose special challenges for NLP.

This book aims to give an introduction to NLP for historical texts and an overview of the state of the art in this field. The book starts with an overview of methods for the acquisition of historical texts (scanning and OCR), discusses text encoding and annotation schemes, and presents examples of corpora of historical texts in a variety of languages. The book then discusses specific methods, such as creating part-of-speech taggers for historical languages or handling spelling variation. A final chapter analyzes the relationship between NLP and the digital humanities.

Certain recently emerging textual genres, such as SMS, social media, and chat messages, or newsgroup and forum postings share a number of properties with historical texts, for example, nonstandard orthography and grammar, and profuse use of abbreviations. The methods and techniques required for the effective processing of historical texts are thus also of interest for research in other domains.

Table of Contents: Introduction / NLP and Digital Humanities / Spelling in Historical Texts / Acquiring Historical Texts / Text Encoding and Annotation Schemes / Handling Spelling Variation / NLP Tools for Historical Languages / Historical Corpora / Conclusion / Bibliography

http://www.morganclaypool.com/doi/pdf/10.2200/S00436ED1V01Y201207HLT017

This title is available online without charge to members of institutions that have licensed the Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science. Members of licensing institutions have unlimited access to download, save, and print the PDF without restriction; use of the book as a course text is encouraged. To find out whether your institution is a subscriber, visit <http://www.morganclaypool.com/page/licensed>, or just click on the book's URL above from an institutional IP address and attempt to download the PDF. Others may purchase the book from this URL as a PDF download for US$30 or in print for US$40. Printed copies are also available from Amazon and from booksellers worldwide at approximately US$45 or local currency equivalent.



More information about the Corpora mailing list