This book traces the history of language technology from writing - the first technology specifically designed for language - to digital speech and other contemporary language systems. The book describes the social impact of technological developments over five millennia, and addresses topics such as the ways in which literacy has influenced cognitive and scientific development; the social impact of modern speech technology; the influence of various printing technologies; the uses and limitations of machine translation; how far mass information access is a means for exploitation or enlightenment; the deciphering of ancient scripts; and technical aids for people with language disabilities. Richard Sproat writes in a clear, readable style, introducing linguistic and other scientific concepts as they are needed. His book offers fascinating reading for everyone interested in how language and technology have shaped and continue to shape our day-to-day lives.
Richard Sproat is a Professor in the Center for Spoken Language Understanding and the Division of Biomedical Computer Science, Oregon Health and Science University. He has been awarded seven patents for technological innovations and is the author of A Computational Theory of Writing Systems (CUP, 2000) and co-author with Brian Roark of Computational Approaches to Syntax and Morphology (OUP, 2007).
1. Preliminaries ; 2. Writing as a Language Technology ; 3. How Writing Represents Language ; 4. Decipherment ; 5. Writing, Literacy, and Society ; 6. history ; 7. Modern Speech Technology ; 8. Language Processing and Translation ; 9. The Future