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Subject: Linguistics and Math or Linguistics and Programming
Question: I am wondering whether it would be more valuable to a student who intends on studying Theoretical or Descriptive Linguistics to complement their studies with courses in Mathematics and Statistics or with courses in Programming and Computer Science, if they do not plan on becoming a computational linguist, but rather want to broaden their education to develop a stronger applicable skill set.
Reply: Either could work depending on your interests. Programming is helpful for understanding syntax/semantics concepts and for understanding different types of linguistic applications such as speech recognition, speech synthesis, spell checkers and so forth. I've also found database theory interesting for morphology. FYI - I am including "math" topics such as logic, Boolean gates and set theory in this category. Basic statistics is good for understanding how sociological data is analyzed and Bayesian probability IS used in Natural Language Processing. Another topic for analyzing social data is social network theory. AND...you could think about acoustics and biology, especially for phonetics. You don't want to kill yourself, but I have found it all very useful at one point or another. Then again, I have found anthropology and ancient history useful for linguistics too... So focus on what interests and the rest will come.
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
 
Date: 24-Jul-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Linguistics and Math or Linguistics and Programming    John M. Lawler     (24-Jul-2013)

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