Franz Uri Boas was a German-born American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology, called the "Father of American Anthropology". His work is associated with the movement of anthropological historicism. Studying in Germany, Boas was awarded a doctorate in 1881 in physics while studying geography, he participated in a geographical expedition to northern Canada, where he became fascinated with the culture and language of the Baffin Island Inuit. He went on to do field work with the indigenous languages of the Pacific Northwest. In 1887 he emigrated to the United States, where he first worked as a museum curator at the Smithsonian, in 1899 became a professor of anthropology at Columbia University, where he remained for the rest of his career. Through his students, many of whom went on to found anthropology departments and research programmes inspired by their mentor, Boas profoundly influenced the development of American anthropology. Among his most significant students were A. L. Kroeber, Ruth Benedict, Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, Zora Neale Hurston, many others.
Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of the then-popular ideologies of scientific racism, the idea that race is a biological concept and that human behavior is best understood through the typology of biological characteristics. In a series of groundbreaking studies of skeletal anatomy he showed that cranial shape and size was malleable depending on environmental factors such as health and nutrition, in contrast to the claims by racial anthropologists of the day that held head shape to be a stable racial trait. Boas worked to demonstrate that differences in human behavior are not determined by innate biological dispositions but are the result of cultural differences acquired through social learning. In this way, Boas introduced culture as the primary concept for describing differences in behavior between human groups, as the central analytical concept of anthropology. Among Boas's main contributions to anthropological thought was his rejection of the then-popular evolutionary approaches to the study of culture, which saw all societies progressing through a set of hierarchic technological and cultural stages, with Western European culture at the summit.
Boas argued that culture developed through the interactions of groups of people and the diffusion of ideas and that there was no process towards continuously "higher" cultural forms. This insight led Boas to reject the "stage"-based organization of ethnological museums, instead preferring to order items on display based on the affinity and proximity of the cultural groups in question. Boas introduced the ideology of cultural relativism, which holds that cultures cannot be objectively ranked as higher or lower, or better or more correct, but that all humans see the world through the lens of their own culture, judge it according to their own culturally acquired norms. For Boas, the object of anthropology was to understand the way in which culture conditioned people to understand and interact with the world in different ways and to do this it was necessary to gain an understanding of the language and cultural practices of the people studied. By uniting the disciplines of archaeology, the study of material culture and history, physical anthropology, the study of variation in human anatomy, with ethnology, the study of cultural variation of customs, descriptive linguistics, the study of unwritten indigenous languages, Boas created the four field subdivision of anthropology which became prominent in American anthropology in the 20th century.
Franz Boas was born in Minden, the son of Sophie Meyer and Meier Boas. Although his grandparents were observant Jews, his parents embraced Enlightenment values, including their assimilation into modern German society. Boas's parents were educated, well-to-do, liberal. Due to this, Boas was granted the independence to pursue his own interests. Early in life, he displayed a penchant for natural sciences. Boas vocally opposed anti-Semitism and refused to convert to Christianity, but he did not identify himself as a Jew; this is disputed however by Ruth Bunzel, a protégée of Boas, who called Boas "the essential protestant". According to his biographer, "He was an'ethnic' German and promoting German culture and values in America." In an autobiographical sketch, Boas wrote: The background of my early thinking was a German home in which the ideals of the revolution of 1848 were a living force. My father, but not active in public affairs. My parents had broken through the shackles of dogma. My father had retained an emotional affection for the ceremonial of his parental home, without allowing it to influence his intellectual freedom.
From kindergarten on, Boas was educated in natural history, a subject he enjoyed. In gymnasium, he was most proud of his research on the geographic distribution of plants; when he started his university studies, Boas first attended Heidelberg University for a semester followed by four terms at Bonn University, studying physics and mathematics at these schools. In 1879, he hoped to transfer to Berlin University to study physics under Hermann von Helmholtz, but ended up transferring to the University of Kiel instead due to family reasons. At Kiel, Boas studied under Theobald Fischer and received a doctorate in physics in 1881 for his dissertation entitled "Contributions to the Understanding of the Color of Water," which examined the absorption and the polarization o
Linguistic prescription, or prescriptive grammar, is the attempt to lay down rules defining preferred or "correct" use of language. These rules may address such linguistic aspects as spelling, vocabulary and semantics. Sometimes informed by linguistic purism, such normative practices may suggest that some usages are incorrect, lack communicative effect, or are of low aesthetic value, they may include judgments on proper and politically correct language use. Linguistic prescriptivism may aim to establish a standard language, teach what a particular society perceives as a correct form, or advise on effective and stylistically felicitous communication. If usage preferences are conservative, prescription might appear resistant to language change. Prescriptive approaches to language are contrasted with the descriptive approach, employed in academic linguistics, which observes and records how language is used; the basis of linguistic research is text analysis and field study, both of which are descriptive activities.
Description, may include researchers' observations of their own language usage. In the Eastern European linguistic tradition, the discipline dealing with standard language cultivation and prescription is known as "language culture" or "speech culture". Despite being apparent opposites and description are considered complementary, as comprehensive descriptive accounts must take existing speaker preferences into account, an understanding of how language is used is necessary for prescription to be effective. Since the mid-20th century some dictionaries and style guides, which are prescriptive works by nature, have integrated descriptive material and approaches. Examples of guides updated to add more descriptive and evidence-based material include Webster's Third New International Dictionary and the third edition Garner's Modern English Usage in English, or the Nouveau Petit Robert in French. A descriptive approach can be useful when approaching topics of ongoing conflict between authorities, or in different dialects, styles, or registers.
Other guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, are designed to impose a single style and thus remain prescriptive. Some authors define "prescriptivism" as the concept where a certain language variety is promoted as linguistically superior to others, thus recognizing the standard language ideology as a constitutive element of prescriptivism or identifying prescriptivism with this system of views. Others, use this term in relation to any attempts to recommend or mandate a particular way of language usage, however, implying that these practices must involve propagating the standard language ideology. According to another understanding, the prescriptive attitude is an approach to norm-formulating and codification that involves imposing arbitrary rulings upon a speech community, as opposed to more liberal approaches that draw from descriptive surveys. Mate Kapović makes a distinction between "prescription" and "prescriptivism", defining the former as "process of codification of a certain variety of language for some sort of official use", the latter as "an unscientific tendency to mystify linguistic prescription".
Linguistic prescription is categorized as the final stage in a language standardization process. It is politically motivated, it can be included in the cultivation of a culture. As culture is seen to be a major force in the development of standard language, multilingual countries promote standardization and advocate adherence to prescriptive norms; the chief aim of linguistic prescription is to specify preferred language forms in a way, taught and learned. Prescription may apply to most aspects of language, including spelling, vocabulary and semantics. Prescription is useful for facilitating inter-regional communication, allowing speakers of divergent dialects to understand a standardized idiom used in broadcasting, for example, more than each other's dialects. While such a lingua franca may evolve by itself, the desire to formally codify and promote it is widespread in most parts of the world. Writers or communicators adhere to prescriptive rules to make their communication clearer and more understood.
Stability of a language over time helps one to understand writings from the past. Foreign language instruction is considered a form of prescription, since it involves instructing learners how to speak, based on usage documentation laid down by others. Linguistic prescription may be used to advance a social or political ideology. During the second half of the 20th century, efforts driven by various advocacy groups had considerable influence on language use under the broad banner of "political correctness", to promote special rules for anti-sexist, anti-racist, or generically anti-discriminatory language. George Orwell criticized the use of euphemisms and convoluted phrasing as a means of hiding insincerity in Politics and the English Language, his fictional "Newspeak" is a parody of ideologically motivated linguistic prescriptivism. Prescription presupposes authorities whose judgments may come to be followed by many other speakers and writers. For English, these authorities tend to be books. H. W. Fowler's Mo
Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages. It used to be only the study of the systems of phonemes in spoken languages, but it may cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word or at all levels of language where sound or signs are structured to convey linguistic meaning. Sign languages have a phonological system equivalent to the system of sounds in spoken languages; the building blocks of signs are specifications for movement and handshape. The word'phonology' can refer to the phonological system of a given language; this is one of the fundamental systems which a language is considered to comprise, like its syntax and its vocabulary. Phonology is distinguished from phonetics. While phonetics concerns the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning.
For many linguists, phonetics belongs to descriptive linguistics, phonology to theoretical linguistics, although establishing the phonological system of a language is an application of theoretical principles to analysis of phonetic evidence. Note that this distinction was not always made before the development of the modern concept of the phoneme in the mid 20th century; some subfields of modern phonology have a crossover with phonetics in descriptive disciplines such as psycholinguistics and speech perception, resulting in specific areas like articulatory phonology or laboratory phonology. The word phonology comes from phōnḗ, "voice, sound," and the suffix - logy. Definitions of the term vary. Nikolai Trubetzkoy in Grundzüge der Phonologie defines phonology as "the study of sound pertaining to the system of language," as opposed to phonetics, "the study of sound pertaining to the act of speech". More Lass writes that phonology refers broadly to the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language, while in more narrow terms, "phonology proper is concerned with the function and organization of sounds as linguistic items."
According to Clark et al. it means the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use. Early evidence for a systematic study of the sounds in a language appears in the 4th century BCE Ashtadhyayi, a Sanskrit grammar composed by Pāṇini. In particular the Shiva Sutras, an auxiliary text to the Ashtadhyayi, introduces what may be considered a list of the phonemes of the Sanskrit language, with a notational system for them, used throughout the main text, which deals with matters of morphology and semantics; the study of phonology as it exists today is defined by the formative studies of the 19th-century Polish scholar Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, who shaped the modern usage of the term phoneme in a series of lectures in 1876-1877. The word phoneme had been coined a few years earlier in 1873 by the French linguist A. Dufriche-Desgenettes. In a paper read at the 24th of May meeting of the Société de Linguistique de Paris, Dufriche-Desgenettes proposed that phoneme serve as a one-word equivalent for the German Sprachlaut.
Baudouin de Courtenay's subsequent work, though unacknowledged, is considered to be the starting point of modern phonology. He worked on the theory of phonetic alternations, may have had an influence on the work of Saussure according to E. F. K. Koerner. An influential school of phonology in the interwar period was the Prague school. One of its leading members was Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy, whose Grundzüge der Phonologie, published posthumously in 1939, is among the most important works in the field from this period. Directly influenced by Baudouin de Courtenay, Trubetzkoy is considered the founder of morphophonology, although this concept had been recognized by de Courtenay. Trubetzkoy developed the concept of the archiphoneme. Another important figure in the Prague school was Roman Jakobson, one of the most prominent linguists of the 20th century. In 1968 Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle published The Sound Pattern of English, the basis for generative phonology. In this view, phonological representations are sequences of segments made up of distinctive features.
These features were an expansion of earlier work by Roman Jakobson, Gunnar Fant, Morris Halle. The features describe aspects of articulation and perception, are from a universally fixed set, have the binary values + or −. There are at least two levels of representation: underlying representation and surface phonetic representation. Ordered phonological rules govern how underlying representation is transformed into the actual pronunciation. An important consequence of the influence SPE had on phonological theory was the downplaying of the syllable and the emphasis on segments. Furthermore, the generativists folded morphophonology into phonology, which both solved and created problems. Natural phonology is a theory based on the publications of its proponent David Stampe in 1969 and in 1979. In this view, phonology is based on a set of universal phonological p
A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place, or thing - used for affection. The term hypocoristic is used to refer to a nickname of affection between those in love or with a close emotional bond, compared with a term of endearment, it is a form of amusement. As a concept, it is distinct from both pseudonym and stage name, from a title, although there may be overlap in these concepts. "Moniker" means a nickname or personal name.. The compound word ekename meaning "additional name", was attested as early as 1303; this word was derived from the Old English phrase eaca "an increase", related to eacian "to increase". By the 15th century, the misdivision of the syllables of the phrase "an ekename" led to its rephrasing as "a nekename". Though the spelling has changed, the pronunciation and meaning of the word have remained stable since. To inform an audience or readership of a person's nickname without calling them by their nickname, English nicknames are represented in quotes between the bearer's first and last names.
However, it is common for the nickname to be identified after a comma following the full real name or in the body of the text, such as in an obituary. The middle name is eliminated in speech. Like English, German uses quotation marks between the last names. Other languages may use other conventions; the latter may cause confusion because it resembles an English convention sometimes used for married and maiden names. In Viking societies, many people had heiti, viðrnefni, or kenningarnöfn which were used in addition to, or instead of the first name. In some circumstances, the giving of a nickname had a special status in Viking society in that it created a relationship between the name maker and the recipient of the nickname, to the extent that the creation of a nickname often entailed a formal ceremony and an exchange of gifts known in Old Norse as nafnfestr. Slaves have used nicknames, so that the master who heard about someone doing something could not identify the slave. In capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, the slaves had nicknames to protect them from being caught, as practising capoeira was illegal for decades.
In Anglo-American culture, a nickname is based on a shortening of a person's proper name. However, in other societies, this may not be the case. For example: "my nickname is farmer Phil" In Indian society, for example people have at least one nickname and these affection names are not related to the person's proper name. Indian nicknames often are a trivial word or a diminutive. In Hispanic culture, a nickname is used for a term of endearment and family love, for example: "Papi", it is a colloquial term for “daddy” in Spanish, but in many Spanish-speaking cultures in the Caribbean, it is used as a general term of affection for any man, whether it's a relative, friend, or love. In Australian society, Australian men will give ironic nicknames. For example, a man with red hair will be given the nickname'Blue' or'Bluey'. A tall man will be called ` an obese person ` Slim' and so on. In England, some nicknames are traditionally associated with a person's surname. A man with the surname'Clark' will be nicknamed'Nobby': the surname'Miller' will have the nickname'Dusty': the surname'Adams' has the nickname'Nabby'.
There are several other nicknames linked traditionally with a person's surname, including Chalky White, Bunny Warren, Tug Wilson, Spud Baker. Other English nicknames allude to a person's origins. A Scotsman may be nicknamed'Jock', an Irishman'Paddy' or'Mick', a Welshman may be nicknamed'Taffy'; some nicknames referred to a person's physical characteristics, such as'Lofty' for a short person, or'Curly' for a bald man. Traditional English nicknaming - for men rather than women - was common through the first half of the 20th century, was used in the armed services during World War I and World War II, but has become less common since then. In Chinese culture, nicknames are used within a community among relatives and neighbors. A typical southern Chinese nickname begins with a "阿" followed by another character the last character of the person's given name. For example, Taiwanese politician Chen Shui-bian is sometimes referred as "阿扁". In many Chinese communities of Southeast Asia, nicknames may connote one's occupation or status.
For example, the landlord might be known as Towkay to his tenants or workers while a bread seller would be called "Mianbao Shu" 面包叔. Among Cantonese-speaking communities, the character "仔" may be used in a similar context of "Junior" in Western naming practices. Many writers, performing artists, actors have nicknames, which may
Origin of speech
The origin of speech refers to the more general problem of the origin of language in the context of the physiological development of the human speech organs such as the tongue and vocal organs used to produce phonological units in all human languages. Although related to the more general problem of the origin of language, the evolution of distinctively human speech capacities has become a distinct and in many ways separate area of scientific research; the topic is a separate one because language is not spoken: it can be written or signed. Speech is in this sense optional. Uncontroversially, monkeys and humans, like many other animals, have evolved specialised mechanisms for producing sound for purposes of social communication. On the other hand, no monkey or ape uses its tongue for such purposes. Our species' unprecedented use of the tongue and other moveable parts seems to place speech in a quite separate category, making its evolutionary emergence an intriguing theoretical challenge in the eyes of many scholars.
The term modality means the chosen representational format for encoding and transmitting information. A striking feature of language is. Should an impaired child be prevented from hearing or producing sound, its innate capacity to master a language may find expression in signing. Sign languages of the deaf are independently invented and have all the major properties of spoken language except for the modality of transmission. From this it appears that the language centres of the human brain must have evolved to function optimally irrespective of the selected modality. "The detachment from modality-specific inputs may represent a substantial change in neural organization, one that affects not only imitation but communication. This feature is extraordinary. Animal communication systems combine visible with audible properties and effects, but not one is modality-independent. No vocally impaired whale, dolphin or songbird, for example, could express its song repertoire in visual display. Indeed, in the case of animal communication and modality are not capable of being disentangled.
Whatever message is being conveyed stems from intrinsic properties of the signal. Modality independence should not be confused with the ordinary phenomenon of multimodality. Monkeys and apes rely on a repertoire of species-specific "gesture-calls" — expressive vocalisations inseparable from the visual displays which accompany them. Humans have species-specific gesture-calls — laughs, sobs and so forth — together with involuntary gestures accompanying speech. Many animal displays are polymodal in that each appears designed to exploit multiple channels simultaneously; the human linguistic property of "modality independence" is conceptually distinct from this. It allows the speaker to encode the informational content of a message in a single channel, while switching between channels as necessary. Modern city-dwellers switch effortlessly between the spoken word and writing in its various forms — handwriting, typing, e-mail and so forth. Whichever modality is chosen, it can reliably transmit the full message content without external assistance of any kind.
When talking on the telephone, for example, any accompanying facial or manual gestures, however natural to the speaker, are not necessary. When typing or manually signing, there's no need to add sounds. In many Australian Aboriginal cultures, a section of the population — women observing a ritual taboo — traditionally restrict themselves for extended periods to a silent version of their language; when released from the taboo, these same individuals resume narrating stories by the fireside or in the dark, switching to pure sound without sacrifice of informational content. Speaking is the default modality for language in all cultures. Humans' first recourse is to encode our thoughts in sound — a method which depends on sophisticated capacities for controlling the lips and other components of the vocal apparatus; the speech organs, everyone agrees, evolved in the first instance not for speech but for more basic bodily functions such as feeding and breathing. Nonhuman primates with different neural controls.
Apes use their flexible, maneuverable tongues for eating but not for vocalizing. When an ape is not eating, fine motor control over its tongue is deactivated. Either it is performing gymnastics with its tongue or it is vocalising. Since this applies to mammals in general, Homo sapiens is exceptional in harnessing mechanisms designed for respiration and ingestion to the radically different requirements of articulate speech; the word "language" derives from the Latin lingua, "tongue". Phoneticians agree. A natural language can be viewed as a particular way of using the tongue to express thought; the human tongue has an unusual shape. In most mammals, it's a long, flat structure contained within the mouth, it is attached at the rear to the hyoid bone, situated below oral level in the pharynx. In humans, the tongue has an circular sagittal contour, much of it lying vertically down an extended pharynx, where it is attached to a hyoid bone in a lowered position; as a result of this, the horizontal and vertical tubes forming the supralaryngeal vocal tract are equal in length (whereas in other species, the vertical se
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses and words in any given natural language. The term refers to the study of such rules, this field includes phonology and syntax complemented by phonetics and pragmatics. Speakers of a language have a set of internalized rules for using that language, these rules constitute that language's grammar; the vast majority of the information in the grammar is – at least in the case of one's native language – acquired not by conscious study or instruction, but by observing other speakers. Much of this work is done during early childhood. Thus, grammar is the cognitive information underlying language use; the term "grammar" can be used to describe the rules that govern the linguistic behavior of a group of speakers. The term "English grammar", may have several meanings, it may refer to the whole of English grammar, that is, to the grammars of all the speakers of the language, in which case, the term encompasses a great deal of variation.
Alternatively, it may refer only to what is common to the grammars of all, or of the vast majority of English speakers. Or it may refer to the rules of a particular well-defined variety of English. A specific description, study or analysis of such rules may be referred to as a grammar. A reference book describing the grammar of a language is called a "reference grammar" or "a grammar". A explicit grammar that exhaustively describes the grammatical constructions of a particular lect is called a descriptive grammar; this kind of linguistic description contrasts with linguistic prescription, an attempt to discourage or suppress some grammatical constructions, while codifying and promoting others, either in an absolute sense, or in reference to a standard variety. For example, preposition stranding occurs in Germanic languages, has a long history in English, is considered standard usage. John Dryden, objected to it, leading other English speakers to avoid the construction and discourage its use. Outside linguistics, the term grammar is used in a rather different sense.
In some respects, it may be used more broadly, including rules of spelling and punctuation, which linguists would not consider to form part of grammar, but rather as a part of orthography, the set of conventions used for writing a language. In other respects, it may be used more narrowly, to refer to a set of prescriptive norms only and excluding those aspects of a language's grammar that are not subject to variation or debate on their normative acceptability. Jeremy Butterfield claimed that, for non-linguists, "Grammar is a generic way of referring to any aspect of English that people object to." The word grammar is derived from Greek γραμματικὴ τέχνη, which means "art of letters", from γράμμα, "letter", itself from γράφειν, "to draw, to write". The same Greek root appears in graphics and photograph. Vedic Sanskrit is the earliest language known to the world; the grammatical rules were formulated by Indra, etc. but the modern systematic grammar, of Sanskrit, originated in Iron Age India, with Yaska, Pāṇini and his commentators Pingala and Patanjali.
Tolkāppiyam, the earliest Tamil grammar, is dated to before the 5th century AD. The Babylonians made some early attempts at language description,In the West, grammar emerged as a discipline in Hellenism from the 3rd century BC forward with authors like Rhyanus and Aristarchus of Samothrace; the oldest known grammar handbook is the Art of Grammar, a succinct guide to speaking and writing and written by the ancient Greek scholar Dionysius Thrax, a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace who established a school on the Greek island of Rhodes. Dionysius Thrax's grammar book remained the primary grammar textbook for Greek schoolboys until as late as the twelfth century AD; the Romans based their grammatical writings on it and its basic format remains the basis for grammar guides in many languages today. Latin grammar developed by following Greek models from the 1st century BC, due to the work of authors such as Orbilius Pupillus, Remmius Palaemon, Marcus Valerius Probus, Verrius Flaccus, Aemilius Asper.
A grammar of Irish originated in the 7th century with the Auraicept na n-Éces. Arabic grammar emerged with Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali in the 7th century; the first treatises on Hebrew grammar appeared in the context of Mishnah. The Karaite tradition originated in Abbasid Baghdad; the Diqduq is one of the earliest grammatical commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. Ibn Barun in the 12th century compares the Hebrew language with Arabic in the Islamic grammatical tradition. Belonging to the trivium of the seven liberal arts, grammar was taught as a core discipline throughout the Middle Ages, following the influence of authors from Late Antiquity, such as Priscian. Treatment of vernaculars began during the High Middle Ages, with isolated works such as the First Grammatical Treatise, but became influential only in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In 1486, Antonio de Nebrija published Las introduciones Latinas contrapuesto el romance al Latin, the first Spanish grammar, Gramática de la lengua castellana, in 1492.
During the 16th-century Italian Ren
Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the statistical or rule-based modeling of natural language from a computational perspective, as well as the study of appropriate computational approaches to linguistic questions. Traditionally, computational linguistics was performed by computer scientists who had specialized in the application of computers to the processing of a natural language. Today, computational linguists work as members of interdisciplinary teams, which can include regular linguists, experts in the target language, computer scientists. In general, computational linguistics draws upon the involvement of linguists, computer scientists, experts in artificial intelligence, logicians, cognitive scientists, cognitive psychologists, psycholinguists and neuroscientists, among others. Computational linguistics has applied components. Theoretical computational linguistics focuses on issues in theoretical linguistics and cognitive science, applied computational linguistics focuses on the practical outcome of modeling human language use.
The Association for Computational Linguistics defines computational linguistics as:...the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of various kinds of linguistic phenomena. Computational linguistics is grouped within the field of artificial intelligence, but was present before the development of artificial intelligence. Computational linguistics originated with efforts in the United States in the 1950s to use computers to automatically translate texts from foreign languages Russian scientific journals, into English. Since computers can make arithmetic calculations much faster and more than humans, it was thought to be only a short matter of time before they could begin to process language. Computational and quantitative methods are used in attempted reconstruction of earlier forms of modern languages and subgrouping modern languages into language families. Earlier methods such as lexicostatistics and glottochronology have been proven to be premature and inaccurate.
However, recent interdisciplinary studies which borrow concepts from biological studies gene mapping, have proved to produce more sophisticated analytical tools and more trustworthy results. When machine translation failed to yield accurate translations right away, automated processing of human languages was recognized as far more complex than had been assumed. Computational linguistics was born as the name of the new field of study devoted to developing algorithms and software for intelligently processing language data; the term "computational linguistics" itself was first coined by David Hays, founding member of both the Association for Computational Linguistics and the International Committee on Computational Linguistics. When artificial intelligence came into existence in the 1960s, the field of computational linguistics became that sub-division of artificial intelligence dealing with human-level comprehension and production of natural languages. In order to translate one language into another, it was observed that one had to understand the grammar of both languages, including both morphology and syntax.
In order to understand syntax, one had to understand the semantics and the lexicon, 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. Nowadays research within the scope of computational linguistics is done at computational linguistics departments, computational linguistics laboratories, computer science departments, linguistics departments; 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. Just as computational linguistics can be performed by experts in a variety of fields and through a wide assortment of departments, so too can the research fields broach a diverse range of topics; the following sections discuss some of the literature available across the entire field broken into four main area of discourse: developmental linguistics, structural linguistics, linguistic production, linguistic comprehension.
Language is a cognitive skill. This developmental process has been examined using a number of techniques, a computational approach is one of them. Human language development does provide some constraints which make it harder to apply a computational method to understanding it. For instance, during language acquisition, human children are only exposed to positive evidence; this means that during the linguistic development of an individual, only evidence for what is a correct form is provided, not evidence for what is not correct. This is insufficient information for a simple hypothesis testing procedure for information as complex as language, so provides certain boundaries for a computational approach to modeling language development and acquisition in an individual. Attempts have been made to model the developmental process of language acquisition in children from a computational angle, leading to both statistical grammars and connectionist models. Work in this realm has been proposed as a method to explain the evolution of language through history.
Using models, it has been shown that languages