The Capabilities and Limitations of
Current Practical Applications of Computational Linguistics
Although the field of Computational Linguistics is relatively new, it contains several sub-areas reflecting practical applications in the field. For example, automatic translation is one of the main components of Computational Linguistics. It can be considered as an independent subject because people who work on this domain are not necessarily experts in the other domains of CL. However, what connects them is the fact that all of these subjects use computers as a tool to deal with human language. Therefore, some people call it Natural Language Processing (abbreviated to NLP). This paper tries to highlight the main field (Computational Linguistics) through some of the essential sub-areas. The capabilities and limitations of each sub-topic will be considered, and possibilities for future development discussed.
A brief history
There is no doubt that scientists have paid attention to Machine (or Automatic) Translation as one of the main computational-linguistics domains. Slocum (1984) states that the development of MT programmes started in the 1950’s. The first applications such as Systran and Meteo were able to translate word by word. The research in machine translation has developed significantly in the late eighties which included morphological and grammar analysis. Hutchins (1993) mentions that one of the important project was the multilingual CICC (Center for the International Cooperation for Computerization) project which involved MT groups in China Indonesia and Thailand. Beginning of the nineties was a major turning point when IBM published the results of its e...
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...f the first generation, however this approach was not pursued extensively. This approach lets a computer learn electronically how to translate from a language to another depending on large amounts of bilingual texts which are exact translations of each other.
Alade, O.A. (2002), "A Comparison Between the Different Translation Strategies Involved Building An MT System", The Third Internatonal Conference On African Languages.
Hutchins, J. (1993), "Latest Developments in Machine Translation Technology: Beginning a New Era in MT Research", MT Summit IV: International Cooperation for Global Communication. Proceedings, Kobe, Japan, pp. 11-34.
Slocum, J. (1984), "Machine Translation: its History, Current Status and Future Prospects ", Siemens Communications Systems, Inc., Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.