Abstract: Nearly two years ago I attended a class on Two-level Morphology by John Nerbonne of which Finite State (FS) techniques formed a great part. It was there when I first discovered their strength; I was surprised by the positive relation between their relative transparency and their potentialities. When some months later, Gertjan van Noord gave a class on Formal Language Theory in which FS techniques passed in revue again, it resulting in my decision to write my Master's on an FS related topic. Further, when last year Gertjan presented an article of his: `On the Intersection of Finite State Automata and Definite Clause Grammars' at the Twente Workshop on Language Technology (TWLT), I found my `related topic' and in fact my supervisor.
The NLP group of the Alfa-informatica Department Groningen is mainly focused on grammar-building and parsing. This fact, and my interest in more `front-end' matters, mainly speech, has not always been an ideal combination. For a long time it seemed best for me to look for expertise elsewhere. However, with this Master's I think I both found a subject of my own and kept a link with the department's interest.