Text and Language Technology Group

Text and Language Technology Group
William A. Kretzschmar, Jr.

  • Why you need a linguist
  • Why you need the Text-Tech team as your linguists.
  • What is "language variation?"
  • What is the significance of the dragonfly?

Why You Need a Linguist

You need a linguist because we can use our special knowledge about language to extract more information from the language you use every day than you ever knew was there.

Linguists are people who study how language works. Yes, we do often get to know several languages as part of our studies, but becoming fluent in a collection of languages is not our central goal. Rather, studying "how language works" means trying to understand how a language, any language, allows people to share information and ideas. Part of that study is what many people would recognize as "grammar," but our study of language includes a great deal more than that. Everyday communication (letters, reports, emails—all kinds of communication in language) does follow the grammatical patterns of a language, but forms of communication also follow other patterns that we know about but that are not obvious to their authors. Our business is to help you use that additional information for your own purposes.

You need a linguist for the same reasons you would need any expert, such as a medical doctor for treatment of injuries and illness, or an engineer for design of structures and processes. You can avoid the doctor while healthy, but when there is trouble you need to ask for help to prevent it or heal it. You can work in your old facility, but you need to engineer to help you to restructure or to build a new one. You need a linguist when you have to deal with trouble that has a paper trail of texts or emails or other communications. You need a linguist to help you design new data structures and processes for textual information.

Why Text-Tech >>

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