Linguistic dating

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Computational linguistics has theoretical and applied components.Theoretical computational linguistics focuses on issues in theoretical linguistics and cognitive science, and applied computational linguistics focuses on the practical outcome of modeling human language use.In order to understand syntax, one had to also understand the semantics and the lexicon (or 'vocabulary'), and even something of the pragmatics of language use.Thus, what started as an effort to translate between languages evolved into an entire discipline devoted to understanding how to represent and process natural languages using computers.Some research in the field of computational linguistics aims to create working speech or text processing systems while others aim to create a system allowing human-machine interaction.Programs meant for human-machine communication are called conversational agents.

Computational linguistics originated with efforts in the United States in the 1950s to use computers to automatically translate texts from foreign languages, particularly Russian scientific journals, into English.Using models, it has been shown that languages can be learned with a combination of simple input presented incrementally as the child develops better memory and longer attention span. Enabled to learn as children might, a model was created based on an affordance model in which mappings between actions, perceptions, and effects were created and linked to spoken words.Crucially, these robots were able to acquire functioning word-to-meaning mappings without needing grammatical structure, vastly simplifying the learning process and shedding light on information which furthers the current understanding of linguistic development.This modeling effort achieved, through computational linguistics, what would otherwise have been impossible.It is clear that the understanding of linguistic development in humans as well as throughout evolutionary time has been fantastically improved because of advances in computational linguistics.

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