the study of the applications of computers in processing and analyzing language, as in automatic machine translation and text analysis.
How do computers help decode inscrutable ciphers?
Back in the 1940s, mathematician Warren Weaver made an audacious suggestion: what if translation was not a feat of literary theory and linguistics, but one of cryptography? Weaver suggested treating a foreign text as if it were a code to be broken. (This theory was the early basis of machine translation, a subfield of computational linguistics.) This metaphor of foreign language as code means that statistics …
The Past and Future of the Dictionary
Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1775, was the first comprehensive dictionary in English. Before this time, dictionaries were often glossaries of difficult words, neglecting more basic terms. However Johnson’s dictionary aimed to cover general vocabulary and everyday usage, not just the “hard” words. The Century Dictionary, published between 1889 and 1891, grew from this tradition. Encyclopedia Britannica describes it as …
Origin of computational linguistics
First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019