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Programming for Linguists: Perl for Language Researchers

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Perl for linguists
Comment: I was interested in this book as a possible text for students learning Perl in introductory computational linguistics. I had learned some perl from the O'Reilly "Learning Perl" book, but never really used the language.

I was really happy to find full sample programs illustrating almost exactly what I wanted to do. Because the examples and exercises were all things I was familiar with I found itvery easy to immediately begin modifying the programs. The last sections with a sample web-spider was particulary fun, and made it possible to start searching for web examples almost immediately.

There are two drawbacks with the book. It's a good introduction to Perl, but quite early on you'll need to supplement it with other texts, like the Perl Cookbook. The second drawback has to do with the orientation. Most of the example programs are geared to language students but few of the examples illustrate work with corpora. The book would be more useful as an introductory text if there were more examples about text normalization, searching corpora, simple tagging, etc.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Overly simplistic
Comment: This book is overly simplistic even for linguists with no programming experience. The problem I had with it is that it had too few examples of applications that could be written to deal with linguistic research. It would have been good to offer a real world example of say a syntactic parser or the like. Functions which are particularly pertinent to linguistics should have been highlighted a lot more to be a better more effective manual for the non-programming linguist.

Also, by leaving out technical details of perl it is harder for the non-programmer to go on to other perl sources. Overall I found this book to be an okay basic starter for a non-programmer, but not particularly useful for linguists who are interested in automating linguistic processes.