Category Archives: linguistics

Those who got fired up about Chomsky’s difficult comments regarding empiricism, including myself, will be gratified to see that Peter Norvig, patron saint of data-driven computational linguistics (inter alia), has released his own comments, along the same lines as mine, only … Continue reading

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Character encodings – a short tutorial

There is a huge profusion of terms around sets of letters, symbols, and characters and how they are encoded onto computers. I found myself embroiled in this mess working at a speech-technology company back in the day as we struggled … Continue reading

Posted in linguistics, programming | 2 Comments

Many of you know (or have inferred from my LinkedIn or Twitter updates), but let me point it out explicitly here: I’m working for this summer as a Research Linguist at SRI International, in the same STAR lab that hosted … Continue reading

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Chomsky and “walks like a duck” empiricism

Replicated Typo and @jasonbaldridge inter alia have been discussing a recent forum where Chomsky and Minsky and Labov (among others) met to discuss the past and future of artificial intelligence. Replicated Typo points out the most interesting contribution from Chomsky: … Continue reading

Posted in linguistics, statistics | 8 Comments

private key punchlines

Has anybody written about humor as a sign of a successful encryption strategy? I think that a good joke might be a lot like a sweet encryption, and I’d like to explore this notion: The sweet spot of jokes is … Continue reading

Posted in information theory, linguistics | 2 Comments

broadsheets from the empirical underground

I’ve been corresponding with Zoltán Varjú, an enthusiastic proponent of what he describes as “rationalist” linguistics, and Melody Dye, who I would describe as a strongly “empirical” linguist — or rather, psychologist of language.  Also chiming in on that conversation … Continue reading

Posted in information theory, linguistics | 10 Comments

Tickets to Embassytown (Miéville)

Annalee Newitz at IO9 has a review of China Miéville’s next upcoming novel, called Embassytown. I want to read this, for the SF and for the linguistic, although I am afraid I’m likely to struggle with suspending disbelief, as I … Continue reading

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I’m interested in the International Quantitative Linguistics Association, but they seem fully-embedded in central Europe, and — unlike the Association for Computational Linguistics — they seem to have very few publications available outside a paywall. Anyone have any experience with … Continue reading

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