With the rapidly changing world of technologies, the need was felt rapidly to build on linguistics technics to facilitate man-machine communication. Meanwhile, the study of language could enjoy the power of computers to acquire a new dimension and open up new areas of research.
Linguistics is an integral part of the information technology, and is also involved in sub-areas of artificial intelligence. Its applications include:
Software design in computer languages for the analysis of natural language: the work of Noam Chomsky have established the similarity between natural languages and computer languages. Thus, a computer language consists of a dictionary and grammar. The interpretation of a text goes through its lexical analysis, then syntax, then semantics. This is the work that the interpreters and compilers.
La traduction automatique : ce problème longtemps sous-estimé s'est en fait avéré l'un des plus délicats à effectuer pour un ordinateur. Aux phases lexicales et syntaxiques, à peu près maîtrisées, s'ajoutent une analyse sémantique, puis pragmatique, qui tentent de déterminer le sens particulier d'un mot, dans le contexte où il apparaît. Le contexte lui-même pouvant s'étendre à l'ensemble du texte traduit.
Automated translation: this underestimated problem has actually been one of the most difficult task for a computer. For the lexical and syntactic phases, it is almost under control, but a semantic and pragmatic analysis trying to determinate the meaning of a word in the context in which it appears. This part of the task is not yet resolved in a satisfactory manner.
The analysis of natural language queries: this idea was considered for a time as a satisfactory solution to the problem of communication between man and machine. What better way indeed for a non-specialist to be able to send commands and questions to the computer in its own language? The advent of graphical interfaces, the mouse and the desktop metaphor have somehow overshadowed this technique. It has reappear in other forms, including as a necessary component of voice and writing analysis and recognition, popularized by some personal digital assistants.