© 2014

Natural Language Processing of Semitic Languages

  • Imed Zitouni

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Natural Language Processing Core-Technologies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ray Fabri, Michael Gasser, Nizar Habash, George Kiraz, Shuly Wintner
      Pages 3-41
    3. Reut Tsarfaty
      Pages 67-128
    4. Mona Diab, Yuval Marton
      Pages 129-159
    5. Ilana Heintz
      Pages 161-196
  3. Natural Language Processing Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-197
    2. Hany Hassan, Kareem Darwish
      Pages 199-219
    3. Behrang Mohit
      Pages 221-245
    4. Khadiga Mahmoud Seddik, Ali Farghaly
      Pages 247-277
    5. Vittorio Castelli, Imed Zitouni
      Pages 279-298
    6. Kareem Darwish
      Pages 299-334
    7. Yassine Benajiba, Paolo Rosso, Lahsen Abouenour, Omar Trigui, Karim Bouzoubaa, Lamia Belguith
      Pages 335-370
    8. Lamia Hadrich Belguith, Mariem Ellouze, Mohamed Hedi Maaloul, Maher Jaoua, Fatma Kallel Jaoua, Philippe Blache
      Pages 371-408
    9. Hagen Soltau, George Saon, Lidia Mangu, Hong-Kwang Kuo, Brian Kingsbury, Stephen Chu et al.
      Pages 409-459

About this book


Research in Natural Language Processing (NLP) has rapidly advanced in recent years, resulting in exciting algorithms for sophisticated processing of text and speech in various languages. Much of this work focuses on English; in this book we address another group of interesting and challenging languages for NLP research: the Semitic languages. The Semitic group of languages includes Arabic (206 million native speakers), Amharic (27 million), Hebrew (7 million), Tigrinya (6.7 million), Syriac (1 million) and Maltese (419 thousand). Semitic languages exhibit unique morphological processes, challenging syntactic constructions, and various other phenomena that are less prevalent in other natural languages. These challenges call for unique solutions, many of which are described in this book.

The 13 chapters presented in this book bring together leading scientists from several universities and research institutes worldwide. While this book devotes some attention to cutting-edge algorithms and techniques, its primary purpose is a thorough explication of best practices in the field. Furthermore, every chapter describes how the techniques discussed apply to Semitic languages. The book covers both statistical approaches to NLP, which are dominant across various applications nowadays, and the more traditional, rule-based approaches, that were proven useful for several other application domains. We hope that this book will provide a "one-stop-shop'' for all the requisite background and practical advice when building NLP applications for Semitic languages.


Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, Amharic Information Retrieval Language Modeling Machine Translation Morphology Natural Language Processing Semantic parsing Semitic Languages Speech Recognition

Editors and affiliations

  • Imed Zitouni
    • 1
  1. 1.MicrosoftRedmondUSA

About the editors

Dr. Imed Zitouni is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft leading the Relevance Measurement Sciences group. Imed received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. with the highest-honors from the University-of-Nancy1 France.

In 1995, he obtained a MEng degree in computer science from ENSI in Tunisia. He is a senior member of IEEE, served as a member of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (99-11), the Information Officer of the ACL SIG on Semitic-Languages, associate editor of TALIP ACM journal and a member of ISCA and ACL. Imed served as chair and reviewing-committee-member of several conferences and journals and he is the author/co-author of more than 100 patents and papers in international conferences and journals. Imed’s research interest is in the area of Multilingual Natural Language Processing (NLP), including Information Retrieval, Information Extraction, Language modeling, etc. Imed has particular interest in advancing state of the art technology in the area of Semitic NLP, especially Arabic.

Imed’s current research interest is in the area of Multilingual Information Retrieval focusing on the use of statistics and machine learning techniques to develop web scale offline and online metrics. He also working on the use of NLP to add a layer of semantics and understanding to search engines. Prior to joining Microsoft, Imed was a Senior Researcher at IBM for almost a decade, where he led several Multilingual NLP projects, including Arabic NLP, informatics extraction, semantic role labeling, language modeling, machine translation and speech recognition. Prior to IBM, Imed was a researcher at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, for almost half dozen years working on language modeling, speech recognition, spoken dialog systems and speech understanding. Imed also experiment the startup experience at DIALOCA in Paris, France, working on e-mail steering and language modeling and served as temporary assistant professor at the University of Nancy 1, France.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Natural Language Processing of Semitic Languages
  • Editors Imed Zitouni
  • Series Title Theory and Applications of Natural Language Processing
  • Series Abbreviated Title Theory,Applicat. Natural Language Processing
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-45357-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-662-52493-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-45358-8
  • Series ISSN 2192-032X
  • Series E-ISSN 2192-0338
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIV, 459
  • Number of Illustrations 38 b/w illustrations, 23 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    Computational Linguistics
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