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What is computational linguistics and language technology?

Computational linguistics is the interdisciplinary study of language phenomena from a computational perspective. The goal of computational linguistics is to model human language either for theoretical or applied purposes. Applications of computational linguistics include programs/systems to:

  • translate documents from one language to another,
  • detect and correct grammar and spelling errors,
  • automatically recognize and/or produce spoken language,
  • search and retrieve documents or information,
  • facilitate language learning, and
  • many, many others!

Good places to start if you want to learn more about this field:

  • A description of computational linguistics from Wikipedia.
  • FAQ about natural language processing from newsgroup comp.ai.nat-lang
  • If you want to see which universities offer courses in CLLT, there is a very comprehensive recent Summary of NLP Courses around the world at the ACL website
  • The AI Topics website at AAAI also has some good basic information.

Last modified: June 5, 2005