Contribute to the Spoken British National Corpus

Logo for British National Corpus 2014Fancy being recorded for posterity as an example of real-life speakers of British English? Then sign up for the new Spoken British National Corpus. Researchers at Lancaster and Cambridge are compiling a new, publicly accessible corpus of English speech.

“We aim to encourage people from all over the UK to record their interactions and send them to us as MP3 files. For each hour of good quality recordings we receive, along with all associated consent forms and information sheets completed correctly, we will pay £18.”

If you’re interested, read their web page and email for more information.

Link: Announcement of Spoken BNC

Lecture 15: Information Retrieval

Title slideFollowing the rectangular tables of relational databases and the triangular trees of semistructured data, the remaining Inf1-DA lectures will address the representation and analysis of more unstructured data. Today’s lecture provided a brief introduction to the classic information retrieval task of searching a large collection of documents to find those that match a simple query.
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Lecture 14: Example Corpora Applications

Title slideCorpora are widely used for computational research into language, and for engineering natural-language computer systems. In linguistics, they make it possible to do real experimental science: to formulate hypotheses about the structure of languages, or changes in language between different places, times or people; and then test these on data. In building applications that handle text or speech, corpora provide the mass quantities of raw material used for machine learning and other algorithms.
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Coursework Assignment and Tutorial Solutions

Next week’s tutorial exercises have been on the web pages since Monday, but I now have two new things to release.

  • Coursework assignment. Available immediately, due for submission in two weeks.

  • Notes and solutions to this week’s tutorial exercises, including files with validating XML and all the XPath queries.

Please post to Piazza or email me if you have any questions about the assignment, or the current tutorial exercises.

Lecture 12: Corpora

Title slideIn literature a corpus (plural corpora) is a collection of written texts, in particular the complete works of a single author or a body of writing on a single subject. In computational linguistics and in theoretical linguistics a corpus is a body of written or spoken text used for study of a particular language or language variety. These corpora may be very large (billions of words) and provide the raw material for experimental investigation of real-world language use: the science of empirical linguistics.

Note: There was a photocopied handout in today’s lecture, and all copies were taken. I’ve placed a large number of additional copies in the ITO; see homework below for details.
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Inf1-DA 2014–2015