It used to be a life’s work to collect language data, and for some linguists this was literally the case. Although now we are mainly concerned with how to process the large amounts of data that we come into contact with, I want to take a step back. Using examples from my own research I will give an alternative view of the kinds of questions we want to ask our of our language data, and where text mining and natural language processing techniques fit into this.
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Questions on Language Data
Alastair Gill is a researcher and developer in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. Alastair's research focuses on the interaction of technology with the social processes of communication and collaboration. In particular, his work focuses on language to study influence and knowledge construction online, as well as the expression and perception of characteristics such as personality, emotion and trust, and he has published widely in these areas. After taking his Ph.D in Informatics in 2004 at the University of Edinburgh, Alastair has undertaken postdoctoral research in psychology, communications and sociology, in Europe and the US. He has worked on text mining projects with the Wikimedia Foundation and HEFCE (the university funding body), and has been invited to give talks on his research at a variety of places including Yahoo! Research Sunnyvale, Siemens xTechnology to Business Center Berkeley, Kellogg Management School, Northwestern University, and Cornell University.