Ronald W. Jonas


Design of a generalized information system
Ronald W. Jonas
Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics

While mechanical translation research involves the design of a computer system which simulates language processes, there is the associated problem of collecting the language data which are to be used in translation. Because large quantities of information will be needed, the computer may be useful for data accumulation and verification. A generalized information system should be able to accept the many types of data which a linguist encodes. A suitable means of communication between the linguist and the system has to be established. This may be achieved with a central input, called Linguistic Requests, and a central output, called Information Displays. The requests should be coordinated so that all possible inputs to the system are compatible, and the displays should be composed by the system such that they are clearly understandable. An information system should be interpretive of the linguist’s needs by allowing him to program the data manipulation. The key to such a scheme is that the linguist be permitted to classify his data freely and to retrieve it as he chooses. He should have at his disposal selecting, sorting, and displaying functions with which he can verify data, select data for introduction to a mechanical translation system, and perform other activities necessary in his research. Such an information system has been designed at the Linguistics Research Center of The University of Texas.