Natural Language Processing – Basics

Natural Language Processing

  • Making computers understand and deal with natural (human) languages like English, Tamil, Spanish, etc.
  • Exploiting human cleverness, and not computer cleverness

Natural Language Processing is a field of Computer Science and Linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and natural (human) languages.


Phonology study of speech sounds
Morphology study of meaningful components of words
Syntax study of structural relationships between words
Semantics study of meaning


  • Modeling the pronunciation of a word as a string of symbols – PHONES
  • Involves study of syllables, how they sound and how they group together to produce the word sound.
  • Notice the difference in sound of “C” in the following words:
    • Coach
    • Chair
    • Can


  • Identification, analysis and description of the structure of words.
  • Study of structural variations of words
  • INFLECTIONS in a word are structural changes, usually through affixes, to express Number, Tense, Case, Gender, Person, etc.
    • dog – dogs
    • goose – geese
    • hunt – hunted
    • his – hers
  • WORD FORMATIONS includes a group of words that have a specific meaning when they appear together.
    • mother in law
    • hot dog


  • Study of grammars
  • Syntactic correctness in sentence formation
  • Part of Speech tagging
    • Noun
    • Verb
    • Adjective, etc
  • I can write : Is “can” AUX VERB or VERB or NOUN?


  • Understanding and representing the meaning

    A simple semantic network
  • Predicate Calculus can be used to represent semantics: Has(Ram, book)

Browse through the below presentation for more information on

  • NLP
  • Ambiguity resolution
  • Perceptions
  • Applications of NLP
  • Machine Learning

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