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An attempt to illuminate several scientific results in the application of exact methods to linguistic research. Often termed "mathematical linguistics," the essence of this new approach and its content consist not of creating some special kind of "linguistics," but rather of perfecting, of making accurate, reliable, and modern the methods of conventional linguistic research. This report deals with: (a) questions of general linguistics which relate the following discussions of concrete methods of exact study and descriptions of linguistic phenomena to earlier linguistics; (b) the place and role of machine translation in contemporary linguistics in both a theoretical and a practical sense; (c) possible applications of statistical methods to linguistic research, together with a discussion of basic principles and concepts of statistical analysis; (d) possible applications of information theory to language study. The report does not treat linguistic applications of "nonquantitative" mathematics-in particular, mathematical logic. This work was translated in order to show the direction and scope of the best Russian research in modern linguistics.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.