Skip to:

ACL Home Page

During its 52nd annual meeting (Baltimore, June 25 2014), the Association for Computational Linguistics has awarded the 2014 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert L. Mercer.

Arriving at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1972, Bob Mercer took a chance in signing up to work in a new research group focusing on speech recognition. Rather than emphasizing the linguistic understanding of speech, the group advocated probabilistic and information theoretic approaches. Despite their lack of linguistic background, the group in rapid succession produced breakthrough after breakthrough in various areas of computational linguistics, including few statistical approaches in speech recognition, developing some of the first large probabilistic language models, and finally pioneering the use of statistical approaches to machine translation, the problem of translating from one language to another.

Bob Mercer and colleagues forcefully demonstrated the power of big data... Read More

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) invites proposals to host the 54th Annual Meeting of the ACL, to be held in Europe, the Middle East or Africa (EMEA) in June, July, or August 2016.

At this time, we seek preliminary draft proposals from prospective bidders in EMEA. Promising bidders will be asked to provide additional information for the final selection.

ACL 2014 covers a broad spectrum of disciplines working towards enabling intelligent systems to interact with humans using natural language, to understanding computational and other linguistic properties of language, and to enhancing human-human communication through services such as speech recognition, automatic translation, information retrieval, text summarization, and information extraction.

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: