What is Computational Linguistics?
Computational linguistics is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of various kinds of linguistic phenomena. These models may be “knowledge-based” (“hand-crafted”) or “data-driven” (“statistical” or “empirical”). Work in computational linguistics is in some cases motivated from a scientific perspective in that one is trying to provide a computational explanation for a particular linguistic or psycholinguistic phenomenon; and in other cases the motivation may be more purely technological in that one wants to provide a working component of a speech or natural language system. Indeed, the work of computational linguists is incorporated into many working systems today, including speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors, language instruction materials, to name just a few.
Popular computational linguistics textbooks include:
Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, Christopher Manning and Hinrich Schütze (1999), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. MIT Press. [Also see the book’s supplemental materials website at Stanford.]
An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition, Daniel Jurafsky and James Martin, 2008, Second Edition. Prentice Hall.
What is the ACL?
The Association for Computational Linguistics is the international scientific and professional society for people working on problems involving natural language and computation.
The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is the premier international scientific and professional society for people working on computational problems involving human language, a field often referred to as either computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP). The association was founded in 1962, originally named the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL), and became the ACL in 1968. Activities of the ACL include the holding of an annual meeting each summer and the sponsoring of the journals Computational Linguistics and Transactions of the ACL — both published by MIT Press. Membership includes these two journals, reduced registration at most ACL-sponsored conferences, discounts on ACL-sponsored publications, and participation in ACL Special Interest Groups.
Regional associations related to the ACL include:
- EACL : The European Chapter of the ACL
- NAACL : The North American Chapter of the ACL
- AACL : The Asia-Pacific Chapter of the ACL