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What is the ACL and what is Computational Linguistics?

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is the premier international scientific and professional society for people working on computational problems involving human language, a field often referred to as either computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP). The association was founded in 1962, originally named the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL), and became the ACL in 1968. Activities of the ACL include the holding of an annual meeting each summer and the sponsoring of the journal Computational Linguistics, published by MIT Press; this conference and journal are the leading publications of the field. For more information, see:

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: