The Computer System to Aid the Linguistic Field Worker.

by Martin Kay

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A nontechnical description of the data compilation and file searching help a computer can give the practical linguist in unraveling the mysteries of exotic languages. (Flexible programs for that purpose are being constructed at the University of Chicago.) Instead of searching through boxes of paper slips, the computer-aided linguist will scan pages of machine-filed and daily-updated printout, searching for general rules and significant examples and directing the program to search for other examples and counter-examples whenever he formulates a new hypothesis. Dictionaries and concordances can be compiled and changed constantly, and the system can readily check that no material from one side of a bilingual dictionary is inadvertently left out of the other side of it. 16 pp.

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