Issue 3 |

Reader's Poll: Computational Linguistics

by on June 2, 2015

So, this issue, we asked our readers what they thought Computational Linguistics was — here are some of your responses:

  • The most awesome and underrated branch of linguistics that is NOT all about programming… And stuff. Haha.
  • The use of computational methods to analyse linguistic data (such as the recent application of Bayesian MCMC methods to produce a dated tree for the origin of Proto-Indo-European). Alternatively, computational approaches to language, such as the development of grammars for the parsing of human speech, such as Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) or Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG).
  • The study of programming languages?
  • Computer programming in words instead of 0s and 1s?
  • The kind of text programmers use to create websites and software.
  • Study of the funky language computers use to speak! Or even motorised things like robots and Siri!
  • The thing that makes SIRI work.
  • Like Google translate and stuff?
  • I think computational linguistics has to do with programming languages, and the science of programming.
  • A field of linguistics that involves human-computer interaction?
  • I think it’s a very big field and can’t be defined by e.g. one process.
    One thing may be that in computational linguistics computer science and linguistics are joined together to one field. It’s the processing of language with machines. Some people in that area make robots speak and others develop programs for blind people so that the computer tells them what they wrote.
    Another thing may be that the computer will be able to recognise a language by a given text or that he can transform a picture of a text in a text document.
    There’s many more, though.

2 Responses to “Youth and language shift”

  1. Romanian is not a romance language, its core did not evolve from Latin, this is easy to demonstrate. Its core is older then Latin, in fact they sprung from the same ancient language but developed in parallel.

  2. For the last few years I’m working on a big project and I came across so many interesting facts about the ancient past, especially regarding some languages stereotypes. For instance, to claim that “a vorbi” is with uncertain origin is a sign of ignorance (sorry!)! The verb “a vorbi” (to speak, to talk) is obviously related with the noun “vorba” (the word), which is almost identical with the Latin “verbum” (the word) or even more so “verba” (the words). So, you still think that “a vorbi” is less Latin that the equivalent in other Romance languages?
    Secondly, the word “barbat” (man) is actually the oldest word meaning “man” in any still existing language (as far as I know after studying this word in a lot of other languages). “Barbat” simply means “with beard”, and I’m sure you agree this makes this word the most clear definition of man.
    Regarding the words “fără” and “prieten”, though some might claim the later one has a Slavic origin, they are actually very old words from the original PIE and we can find them both in Sanskrit as “paras” for “fără”, respectively “priyatamA” and “priya” for “prieten/prietena”.

    One of the most stupid stereotypes is related with the Romanian definite article. Nobody seems to be bothered by the fact that Latin didn’t even have a definite article at the time Romanian territory became completely disconnected with any other Romance languages. Nevermind the fact that the Romanian definite article is much more elaborate than any counterpart and, like in the case of the word “barbat”, it is the only definite article that can be explained.

    Anyway, I still found a good amount of interesting information in your text, even if with a lot of debatable details.



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