Thursday, 30 November 2023

NLP Jargon: An Overview of the Terminology and Jargon Used in NLP

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a rapidly growing field of study that focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and interact with human language. As with any technical field, NLP has its own unique terminology and jargon that can be overwhelming for those new to the field. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the key terms and concepts used in NLP to help you better understand this exciting field.


A corpus is a large collection of written or spoken texts that is used as the basis for linguistic analysis. In NLP, corpora are used to train language models, which are used to predict the probability of words or phrases based on the surrounding context. Corpora can be composed of a variety of text types, including news articles, social media posts, and academic papers.


Tokenization is the process of breaking text into individual words, phrases, or other meaningful units. In NLP, tokenization is a critical step in text preprocessing, as it allows for the identification of individual words and their associated features. Tokenization can be performed at different levels of granularity, depending on the needs of the analysis.

Stemming and Lemmatization

Stemming and lemmatization are techniques used to reduce words to their root form. Stemming involves removing the suffixes from words, while lemmatization involves reducing words to their base form, or lemma. These techniques can help to improve the accuracy of language models by reducing the number of unique words that need to be considered.

Part-of-speech tagging

Part-of-speech (POS) tagging is the process of labeling each word in a text with its corresponding part of speech, such as noun, verb, or adjective. POS tagging is a fundamental task in NLP, as it is used to extract meaning from text and to build language models. POS tagging can be performed using a variety of techniques, including rule-based approaches and machine learning.

Named Entity Recognition

Named Entity Recognition (NER) is the process of identifying and classifying named entities in text, such as people, organizations, and locations. NER is a critical task in many NLP applications, such as information extraction and question answering. NER can be performed using a variety of techniques, including rule-based approaches and machine learning.

Word Embeddings

Word embeddings are vector representations of words that capture their semantic meaning. Word embeddings are used to represent words in NLP models, and can be used to perform a variety of tasks, such as sentiment analysis and text classification. Word embeddings are typically learned through unsupervised learning techniques, such as word2vec and GloVe.

Neural Networks

Neural networks are a type of machine learning algorithm that are inspired by the structure and function of the human brain. In NLP, neural networks are used to build models that can learn to understand and generate human language. Neural networks can be used to perform a wide range of NLP tasks, including language modeling, machine translation, and sentiment analysis.

In conclusion, NLP is a fascinating and rapidly evolving field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with machines. While the terminology and jargon used in NLP can be daunting, a basic understanding of the key concepts and techniques can go a long way towards demystifying this exciting field. We hope that this overview of NLP terminology has been informative and helpful in your journey to understand this fascinating field.