It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
Since the 1990s the practice of natural language processing (NLP) has gradually shifted from logic-based symbol manipulation systems first to purely statistical, and more recently to hybrid systems that combine structural and statistical methods. The mathematical theory of hybrid NLP is still not fully mature, and the special session intends to bring together mathematicians, computer scientists, theoretical and computational linguists and AI researchers with an interest in its foundations.