In Memoriam: Paul Chapin

1938-2015

Memorial statement prepared by Tom Bever, Merrill Garrett, and Cecile McKee (University of Arizona)

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) mourns the July 1, 2015 death of Paul Chapin, former ACL president (1977).  The language sciences lost a truly valued defender and friend on July 1, 2015, with the death of Paul Gipson Chapin from Acute Myeloid Leukemia, in Tucson, Arizona.

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What is computational linguistics?

Computational linguistics is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of various kinds of linguistic phenomena. These models may be "knowledge-based" ("hand-crafted") or "data-driven" ("statistical" or "empirical"). Work in computational linguistics is in some cases motivated from a scientific perspective in that one is trying to provide a computational explanation for a particular linguistic or psycholinguistic phenomenon; and in other cases the motivation may be more purely technological in that one wants to provide a working component of a speech or natural language system. Indeed, the work of computational linguists is incorporated into many working systems today, including speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors, language instruction materials, to name just a few.

Popular computational linguistics textbooks include:

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