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The Art of Interpretation in the Age of Computation$
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Paul Kockelman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190636531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190636531.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation

Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation

(p.139) 6 Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation
The Art of Interpretation in the Age of Computation

Paul Kockelman

Oxford University Press

The chapter shows the fundamental importance of ideas from computer science to the concerns of linguistic anthropology (and to the concerns of culture-rich and context-sensitive approaches to communication more generally). It reviews some of the key concepts and claims of computer science (language, recognition, automaton, Universal Turing Machine, and so forth). It argues that the sieve, as both a physical device and an analytic concept, is of fundamental importance not just to anthropology, but also to linguistics, biology, philosophy, and critical theory. And it argues that computers, as both engineered and imagined, are essentially text-generated and text-generating sieves. In relating computer science to linguistic anthropology, this chapter also attempts to build bridges between long-standing rivals: face to face interaction and mathematical abstraction, linguistic relativity and universal grammar, mediators and intermediaries.

Keywords:   sieves, communication, Turing machine, universal grammar, linguistic relativity, computer science, linguistic anthropology, critical theory

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