I am asked to do some NLP tasks on a language which is agglutinative. I am finding these terms difficult to understand since my background is different. I am looking for some nice books that give a good introduction on these terms.

  • Wikipedia is often the best place to begin for terms you don't understand.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 21 '14 at 1:10
  • Is this a homework question? If so, please describe the efforts that you have made to answer your question before you posted on the Stack Exchange. Dec 21 '14 at 2:55
  • @curiousdannii I have seen people always suggesting about Wikipedia. As all others I know that Wikipedia exists and a good source of information. But I dont think Wikipedia is a replacement for good books.
    – user5507
    Dec 21 '14 at 15:31
  • @JamesGrossmann This is not a homework question. This is from a compsci grad with research interest in NLP
    – user5507
    Dec 21 '14 at 15:34
  • @user5507 When you're having trouble with terminology like agglutinative you don't need a long thorough academic book, you need a helpful dictionary or encyclopaedia, and as such you're going to be dealing with a tertiary source. No one is pretending that Wikipedia is a good primary or secondary source, but it's unrivalled as a tertiary source.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 23 '14 at 14:35

In order to understand basic linguistic terminology, you might consult The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics.

In contrast to isolating languages with one morpheme per word, words in agglutinative languages have multiple morphemes per word. The challenge for NLP when working with agglutinative languages is detecting morpheme boundaries within words. Instead of a syntactic parser, a morphological parser becomes more crucial.


You could first start by Yule, G., 2014. The study of language. Cambridge University Press. A more refined and specific introduction to linguistics would be Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. and Hyams, N., 2013. An introduction to language. Cengage Learning. also if you have hard time understanding linguistic terms you could take a look at the book Trask, R.L., 2013. A dictionary of grammatical terms in linguistics. Routledge.

In the end if you have enough time to read 500+ pages you could read O'grady, O.W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M. and Rees-Miller, J., 1989. Contemporary linguistics: An introduction.


The NLP content in this book needs updating, but there is a simple linguistics primer inside Foundations of Natural Language Processing by Hinrich Schütze and Chris Manning.

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