What is Computational Linguistics?

Computational linguistics (CL) combines linguistics with computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) and is concerned with understanding language from a computational perspective. Language has always been our most natural and versatile means of communication. So as society continues to rely heavily on technology, people will produce tools and frameworks for characterizing languages to improve and help facilitate the interaction between humans and machines. These resources of CL are used regularly on a daily basis. Some examples would include: search engines, text editors, speech recognition systems, and text-to-speech synthesizers.

How could Computational Linguistics help me?

Computational linguistics (CL) is inherently interdisciplinary as it bridges language and technology together. The CL concentration in the interdisciplinary studies master’s program brings together coursework in linguistics and computer science to develop two different skill sets in students. First, our graduates develop keen skills in linguistics and linguistic analysis, learning how languages work in the abstract. This knowledge can then be applied to the design of computational systems for automating linguistic analysis. The second major goal of the concentration is for students to develop a thorough knowledge of the methods used in automated natural language processing (NLP), as well as the programming skills to undertake research in computational linguistics. These two skill sets will be augmented by a pair of courses selected to strengthen background relevant for the student’s intended career path. These course sequences are to be selected in consultation with the concentration advisors; possible topics include learning technologies, digital data curation, business analytics, or information science.

How does it work?

The concentration in Computational Linguistics is a 30-credit-hour program. The degree plan in the concentration is a mix of required courses and electives, with the Department of Linguistics as the primary academic area.

A total of 18 credit hours will be earned from courses in theoretical linguistics, research methods, experimental design and computational linguistics. The Computational Linguistics courses are designed to coordinate with courses in computer science (total of 6 credit hours). The third area of study (total of 6 credit hours) is to be selected by the student in coordination with the concentration advisors. At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone course in linguistics which will include both a substantial research component and professional development to support students in career placement following completion of the degree plan.

Linguistics Core (18 hours)

The linguistics core consists of five courses (15 credit hours) leading to a capstone experience (3 credit hours) taken in the student’s last semester.

All students must have completed LING 5040 - Principles of Linguistics, or an equivalent, before enrolling in core linguistics courses. This course may be taken as a deficiency, but cannot be applied to the Computational Linguistics degree plan.

LING 5070 - Research Design for Linguists
LING 5410 - Computational Linguistics I
LING 5415 - Computational Linguistics II
LING 5990 - Professional Development for Linguists (capstone)

Computer Science Core (six hours)

Students will select two of the following courses in consultation with faculty advisors:
CSCE 5200 - Information Retrieval and Web Search
CSCE 5210 - Artificial Intelligence
CSCE 5215 - Machine Learning
CSCE 5216 - Pattern Recognition
CSCE 5290 - Natural Language Processing
CSCE 5300 - Introduction to Big Data and Data Science
CSCE 5380 - Data Mining
CSCE 6290 - Advanced Topics in Human/Machine Intelligence

Specialization Electives (six hours)

Students will select a two-course sequence to focus on an intended career path such as: 

INFO 5841 - Digital Curation Fundamentals
INFO 5842 - Digital Curation Tools and Applications
LTEC 5210 - Instructional Systems Design I
LTEC 5310 - Human-Computer Interaction
INFO 5731 - Computational Methods for Information Systems
INFO 5737 - Information and Cyber-Security 

For further information about a concentration in Computational Linguistics at UNT, please contact the Interdisciplinary Studies program coordinator Eva Ruiz-DuVall at INSD@unt.edu or 940-565-4787.

Checkout Our Catalog for this Concentration