An electronic coursebook and applications archive

General plan
of the book


A note for


This coursebook is directed primarily at undergraduate students of linguistics. It provides an introduction to computer programming focused on natural language processing. Through a simple introduction to the Logo programming language and a range of sample applications, it aims to develop a taste for the range of problems (and, with luck, some of the delights) which are encountered in attempting to implement computer systems capable of handling normal speech and language.

Having worked through the materials presented here, students should be able to apply their programming skills directly in the implementation of small scale natural language systems and indirectly as mental tools to assist them as they grapple with the rigorous representation of theoretical models and descriptive statements within linguistics.

Despite the restricted target audience, the materials may well also be useful to teachers and learners of Logo, across a variety of disciplines and educational environments, who feel a need for something other than turtle domination.

At an even more remote level, of course, programming notions which are acquired by practice with materials such as these may naturally be redeployed in any circumstance as universally useful tools for thought.

Ron Brasington
Department of Linguistic Science
The University of Reading