Friday, February 18, 2011
Steve Abney, University of Michigan Or: How a Computationalist approaches the Big Questions of Linguistics Despite the name, computational linguistics traces its roots to computer science, not linguistics, and the two fields have dramatically different ways of looking at the world and scientific inquiry. Nonetheless, there is an interesting convergence - and ripe potential for much deeper integration - in the area of language documentation and description. The goal of this envisioned hybrid field is "language digitization." It is language documentation that is meant, not for human consumption, but for machine consumption. It is a necessary prerequisite for a computational approach to general linguistics, a.k.a. Universal Grammar.