Martin Kay

Professor of Lingusitics and, by courtesy, of Computer Science, Stanford University

Honorary Professor of Computational Linguistics, the University of the Saarland

My main interests are translation, both by people and machines, and computational linguistic algorithms, especially in the fields of morphology and syntax.

A short biography.

A Life in Language. A speech given in acknowledgement of the Life-time Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Compuational Linguistics, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 27th June, 2005.

String Alignment Using Suffix Trees. A paper about the possible use of suffix trees for aligning texts and their translations.

Here are some unfinished musings on the nature of translation.

Here are some half-baked thoughts on language models in statistical NLP on which I need some help.

My 1994 paper on "Regular Models of Phonological Rule Systems". Computational Linguistics 20(3):331-378" with Ronald Kaplan is here.

Here is a more complete bibliography.

In the autumn, I generally teach 182/282 "Human and Machine Translation" described in the catalog as follows:

The process of translation by professional and amateur translators, and by existing and proposed machine-translation systems; what each might learn from the other.
Prerequisite: advanced knowledge of a foreign language.

Recently, I have been teaching a similar course in the first ten weeks of the summer quarter at the University of the Saarland.

In the winter, at Stanford, I teach 183/283 "Programming and Algorithms for Natural Language Processing". It is describes as follows:

Construction of computer programs for linguistic processes such as string search, morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis and generation, and simple machine translation. Emphasis is on the algorithms that have proved most useful for solving such problems.

Course readings:

Context-free parsing with backtracking

Disjunctive Unification Functional Uncertainty

HPSG1 HPSG2 HPSG Generation


Typed Features


Head-corner parsing

Algorithms Class Slides: Suffix Arrays  Suffix Trees

  Suffix trees 1 2 3 4 5



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