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I wish I had more ideas for applications using techniques like this, otherwise I would probably spend much more time researching natural language processing.

Instead, I did a simple project on searching using language processing and just read Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing [1], which is not too difficult, and Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics and Speech Recognition [2], which is a pretty heavy read but a great reference. I was able to find a used copy of the second book for $0.30.

I also put a bit of study into articulatory phonetics and speech recognition as part of a graduate study-abroad, which is an interesting field on its own, but I always wanted to come back to computational linguistics.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Statistical-Natural-Langua...

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Speech-Language-Processing-Introductio...

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