Natural Language Processing: A Historical Review

  • Karen Sparck Jones
Part of the Linguistica Computazionale book series (LICO, volume 9)


This paper reviews natural language processing (NLP) from the late 1940’s to the present, seeking to identify its successive trends as these reflect concerns with different problems or the pursuit of different approaches to solving these problems and building systems as wholes. The review distinguishes four phases in the history of NLP, characterised respectively by an emphasis on machine translation, by the influence of artificial intelligence, by the adoption of a logico-grammatical style, and by an attack on massive language data. The account considers the significant and salient work in each phase, and concludes with an assessment of where we stand after more than forty years of effort in the field.


Natural Language Processing Machine Translation Ambiguity Resolution World Knowledge Natural Language Processing System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Sparck Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer LaboratoryUniversity of CambridgeUK

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