Digital Language Studies

How are various pieces of computer software such as speech recognition and text classifiers used for the purposes of linguistic research? How to investigate language use in data sets spanning billions of words? How has digitalization affected language use? How do chatbots work or Google Translate for that matter?

Digital language studies is a multidisciplinary field of research that examines language use in a digital environment and combines methods from linguistics and natural language processing (NLP). NLP develops methods for automatic processing of spoken and written language. Well-known applications include, for example, machine translation, chatbots, and various tools for text mining, such as opinion detection systems.

Digital language studies applies and develops further the methods and algorithms used in NLP. The field requires understanding of linguistic structures and language variation, as well as programming skills to automatically process this knowledge. In recent years, various sources of linguistic data have become increasingly complex and large in size. In light of this development, language technology and its applications have gained importance not only in academia but also in the private sector. Understanding both linguistics and language technology is increasingly more important for various professionals working with language.

A Master’s Degree in Digital linguistics can be obtained from the Language Specialist Degree Programme offered by the School of Languages and Translation Studies. The Utuling Doctoral Programme also offers a major in Digital linguistics. Additionally, the Faculty of Humanities offers a language technology study module of 25 ECTS.

The program of Digital linguistics provides excellent skills and knowledge for managing and processing big data for the purposes of linguistic research and text mining. No prior programming knowledge is required as the program of Digital linguistics provides the essential building blocks for developing the necessary skills and knowledge for functioning as a professional in the contemporary field of language research.