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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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Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation

Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation

Chapter:
(p.139) 6 Computation, Interpretation, and Mediation
Source:
The Art of Interpretation in the Age of Computation
Author(s):

Paul Kockelman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190636531.003.0006

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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