Loneliness of the long-distance linguist.

Kieran Snyder's webulated chit-chat.

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  • Blog Post: Vosotros? Ustedes? Who, me?

    For various reasons I've been doing statistical analyses on word frequencies in a number of languages lately, and I found a pattern that differentiates different dialects of Spanish that struck me as curious enough that I asked Gerardo, my test lead from Mexico, about it. I was working with Spanish corpora...
  • Blog Post: A to-do list.

    The last several months have been packed with planning our next set of features in the international space -- talking to customers about what they need and what they want, looking at the teams we have and seeing where our skills are up to the challenges ahead and where we need improvement, and looking...
  • Blog Post: Blogging the LSA: Epilogue.

    The moment I published my ranty LSA blog part one I was given something else to chew on. I left my laptop and went to Mark Liberman's plenary talk on the future of linguistics. Now when Mark gives a talk on the future of linguistics, chances are that it's worth paying attention. And this did not disappoint...
  • Blog Post: How I got into linguistics, and what I got out of it. Or: Reactions to the LSA.

    Many years ago Bill Labov wrote an article called How I got into linguistics, and what I got out of it. It describes his path from college, through failed writing jobs and a stint as an inkmaker, up to his eventual discovery of the field of linguistics, Bill writes: " From what I learned about the small...
  • Blog Post: What's the emoticon for nerd?

    I saw a really cool talk the other day by doctoral student Daniel Avrahami from CMU. Daniel is looking at correlations between properties of IM conversations (e.g. length of message, duration of conversation, time between messages sent, etc.) and the type of relationship shared by the two interlocutors...
  • Blog Post: Found in translation.

    Though languages can be interestingly different from one another, the majority of work in modern linguistics has been dedicated to showing that the differences are only cosmetic; at heart, all languages are expressively equivalent. I know this is true, because every time someone from [big name theoretical...
  • Blog Post: Math + language = what?

    I have been on vacation running this crazy relay race: http://www.hoodtocoast.com But now I am back, enhobbled and all, and it's time to reach into the mail bag to answer one of the most popular questions I've received from readers: What is the name "Loneliness of the long-distance linguist...
  • Blog Post: Lexical diffusion, software style.

    The Microsoft Community Glossary - Linguistic Partnership Project allows members of a speech community to work together to create and standardize technical vocabulary for their language. Community Glossaries can be an important step on the road to software localization for customers in regions that are...
  • Blog Post: The cats and frogs are really raining out there.

    If I do say so myself, I'm pretty good at picking up new languages. My chosen line of work was not selected at random. But pretty much the most interesting thing about learning new languages, for me, is analyzing patterns in the kinds of mistakes I make (at least insofar as I am able to do so -- after...
  • Blog Post: Linguistics vs. linguistics.

    There are some linguistics jobs in software. There are many, many more applied linguistics jobs in software. They aren't the same thing. One of those things about formal or computational linguists is that they -- we -- identify ourselves and ourselves exclusively as linguists. There is a healthy dose...
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