Suresh Kolichala


2022

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Computational Historical Linguistics and Language Diversity in South Asia
Aryaman Arora | Adam Farris | Samopriya Basu | Suresh Kolichala
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

South Asia is home to a plethora of languages, many of which severely lack access to new language technologies. This linguistic diversity also results in a research environment conducive to the study of comparative, contact, and historical linguistics–fields which necessitate the gathering of extensive data from many languages. We claim that data scatteredness (rather than scarcity) is the primary obstacle in the development of South Asian language technology, and suggest that the study of language history is uniquely aligned with surmounting this obstacle. We review recent developments in and at the intersection of South Asian NLP and historical-comparative linguistics, describing our and others’ current efforts in this area. We also offer new strategies towards breaking the data barrier.