"For the first time, researchers in this field will have a book that will serve as the bible' for many aspects of language and speech processing. Frankly, I can't imagine a person working in this field not wanting to have a personal copy." -- Victor Zue,MIT Laboratory for Computer Science This book reflects decades of important research on the mathematical foundations of speech recognition. It focuses on underlying statistical techniques such as hidden Markov models, decision trees, the expectation-maximization algorithm, information theoretic goodness criteria, maximum entropy probability estimation, parameter and data clustering, and smoothing of probability distributions. The author's goal is to present these principles clearly in the simplest setting, to show the advantages of self-organization from real data, and to enable the reader to apply the techniques.