Programming is an extremely useful skill in many areas of linguistics and in other language-related fields.

In his latest book "Python for linguists" (Cambridge University Press) Michael Hammond provides an introduction to programming using Python for those with little to no experience of coding.

Python is one of the most popular and widely-used programming languages as it's also available for free and runs on any operating system.


Michael Hammond: "Within linguistics, it used to be the case that programming skills were required only for computational linguists, but this is far from true these days. Programming now is used in phonology, syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, phonetics, discourse analysis, essentially every area of linguistic investigation. This change reflects broader methodological changes in the field, a response to the fact that more and more data are available electronically, and we have much richer techniques for examining and manipulating massive amounts of electronic data."

This book (310 pages) is specifically designed for linguists who want to write programs that will let them answer questions about language, e.g. build a simple list of occurring words from a text file written in some language along with the frequency of those words, find items for psycholinguistic experiments from text resources, find the average number of words per sentence from a text corpus and find the longest sentence in that corpus, build a model of syllabification for some language and syllabify candidate words, find the average length and amplitude for some set of sound files, etc.

All examples in the text involve language data and can be adapted or used directly for language research. The text focuses on key language-related issues: searching, text manipulation, text encoding and internet data, etc. All examples include language that specifically targets linguists.

The book is split into chapters covering basic issues and chapters for more advanced programmers, meaning it is accessible to readers with a range of experience.

Michael Hammond is Professor of Linguistics and Human Language Technology at the University of Arizona. His previous titles include Programming for Linguists: Perl for Language Professionals (2003) and Programming for Linguists: Java Technology for Language Professionals (2002).


ISBN (Paperback): 9781108737074

ISBN (Hardback): 9781108493444

ISBN (eBook): 9781108638982


More detaied information about Python for linguists is available on the publisher's website.


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