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A Family Portrait of Computational Language Analysis

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Jacqueline Hettel

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of A Family Portrait of Computational Language Analysis

A Family Portrait of
Computational Language Analysis

Ferdinand de Saussure
Noam Chomsky
John Rupert Firth
Linguistic Descriptions
Neofirthian Linguistics
"Speech is the sum total of what people say, and it comprises (a) combinations of words, depending on the will of the speakers, and (b) acts of phonation, which are also voluntary and are necessary for the execution of the speakers' combinations of words" (Saussure 19).
Grammar, or the "description of linguistic states" (Saussure 82)
The "aims" of linguistic structure inquiry:
"to describe all known languages and record their history...;
to determine the forces operating permantly and universally in all languages, and to formulate general laws which account for all particular linguistic phenomena historically attested...." (Kretzschmar 40)
"The choice of linguistic structure is not inevitable, not 'natural' in the sense that it corresponds to an inborn faculty or property of a species; it is the nucleus of an argument to create a science of linguistics, one based on a model with particular premises and with a definite arrangement of its variables" (Kretzschmar 44).
We can extend "speech" to language behavior, how people actually use language (both written and spoken).
"Language behavior is a product of the will of individual speakers, a voluntary act" (Kretzschmar 45).
Linguistics of speech, or the study of language behavior, views linguistic acts as "individual and emphemeral," they are always context-dependent
Universal Grammar
Generative Linguistics
William A. Kretzschmar, Jr.
Christopher Manning
Computational parole
Computational langue
Linguistics of Speech--Language Behaves as a Complex System (Logarithmically):
Corpus Linguistics, Computational Stylistics, Word Geography
Natural Language Processing--Assumption that Language Behaves in a "Normal" (Gaussian) Manner:
Automated Analysis of Linguistic Structure, Topic Modeling
Know Your Family...
Understand the methodology/approach/ideology you are using!!!
Choose the best approach for your data, and the types of analysis you want to perform.
More importantly, know its limitations.
"I'm intrigued by the division within linguistics that Hettel describes; if there were a link to a blog post or something like that explaining it, I'd be interested in following up and learning more."
--Ted Underwood

Machine learning is used by both:
i.e. Neural Network Algorithms vs. Name Entity Recognition
Full transcript