Another Enthusiastic Review of Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts

I’d like to (belatedly) point you to another review of my book Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts. The review by Laurent Romary appeared in Computational Linguistics 40:1, 231–232, and I was very happy to find that Laurent considers the book a “compendium of information that […] has been heavily awaited by many scholars having to deal with corpora of historical texts” and that it “conveys a wealth of information on the various aspects where recent developments in language technology may help digital humanities projects to be aware of the current state of the art in the field.”

I think you could call this a recommendation, so go get the book now!

A Small Exercise in Computer Archeology

My first computer was an Atari 1040STF, which I used until about 1995, when I replaced it with an HP 715/50 workstation. I put the Atari away in the attic, where it remained for the last 18 years.

While staying with my parents over Christmas, I decided to finally get it out and determine whether it would still work (and thus whether to keep it or dispose of it), and to try and get the data off its hard disk. There wasn’t anything terribly important on the hard disk—otherwise I would have done this earlier—, so there wasn’t really anything at stakes, but I thought it might be an interesting exercise in computer archeology.

Continue reading

A Review of Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts

LINGUIST List issue 25.292 features a review of my book Natural Language Processing for Historical Texts by Bev Thurber. I was very happy to read that she thinks that the book is “a good overview of recent progress and problems in applying techniques from NLP to historical texts” and that it “provides a valuable introduction to the field for humanists who want an overview of how NLP techniques have been used with historical texts and what promise NLP holds for the future.”

Read the full review on LINGUIST List.

VARD 2.5 Released

Another short project note: Last week, Alistair Baron released a new version (2.5) of VARD. VARD is one of the most popular programs for normalizing or modernizing historical texts prior to linguistic analysis.

The VARD Web site has more information.

Workshop on Computational Historical Linguistics at NoDaLiDa 2013

It’s been a couple of weeks now that I attended the NoDaLiDa 2013 workshop on Computational Historical Linguistics, where I gave an invited talk.  The workshop—and Oslo in general—was a very pleasant experience.  The organizers (chaired by Þórhallur Eyþórsson from the University of Iceland) had booked a great hotel room for me, no, a suite actually, larger than my apartment in Mainz 🙂 Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the main conference because I had to continue to Paris, but at least I could attend the conference dinner, which took place at the Oslo Opera House.  Very nice!

Continue reading