History

The Department of Mathematical Linguistics is involved in fundamental and applied research in theoretical, computational and mathematical linguistics, human-language technologies, the mathematical and logical foundations of computer science and artificial intelligence, algorithmics, and knowledge technologies.

The Department was founded in 1977 (as the Laboratory for Mathematical Linguistics, 1977–1985). It is the successor of the Group for Machine Translation (1964–1976), which worked in the areas of Russian–Bulgarian automatic translation and quantitative and statistical studies of the Bulgarian language.

Current staff of the department includes Prof. Ludmila Dimitrova (PhD, Head of Department, since 2012), Prof. Radoslav Pavlov (PhD, Head of Department, 1977-2012), Prof. Vladimir Pericliev (PhD), Assoc. Prof. Ivan Derzhanski (PhD), Assoc. Prof. Slavian Radev (PhD), Assoc. Prof. Sviatoslav Braynov (PhD), Assoc. Prof. Konstantin Rangochev (PhD), Assist. Prof. Lyubomil Draganov, Assist. Prof. Desislava Paneva-Marinova (PhD), Assist. Prof. Detelin Luchev (PhD), Assist. Prof. Ivan Garnizov, Maxim Goynov (PhD student).

In the last 10 years the research staff of the Department has obtained scientific and applied results in the following domains:

  • Computational linguistics (esp. lexicography and corpus linguistics) with a focus on Bulgarian: development of TEI-compliant lexical specifications for encoding and processing of linguistic corpora and lexica; creation of annotated corpora (parallel, compatible, aligned) and lexical databases for integrated multilingual resources and bilingual digital dictionaries.
  • Computational morphology.
  • Theoretical and contrastive linguistics: evaluative morphology; semantics, esp. the formal modelling of semantic phenomena; writing systems, their history and typology; the representation of the Cyrillic script in Unicode.
  • Methodology of linguistics.
  • Knowledge discovery—building intelligent computational tools for knowledge discovery, used for solving substantial problems from diverse linguistic fields (e.g., kinship semantics), distinctive feature analysis, typology and language universals.
  • Knowledge technologies and applications in e-commerce, security, semantic web, human language and multimedia technologies, digital libraries and cultural e-content management, personalisation and adaptation in knowledge delivery systems, e-learning systems and content development.
  • Computational modelling of Bulgarian ethnological and folk historical knowledge, with aspects of Bulgarian mentality, the structure of the sacred, and also with methods and models of representation of these complex fields in the Internet.

Members of the staff of the Department have been principal lecturers in the fields of Discrete Mathematics, Algorithmics, Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Mathematical Logic, Multimedia and Language Technologies, Mathematical and Computational Linguistics and Applications, in numerous universities in Bulgaria, many other European countries, and the USA. In the period 2002-2007 the staff of the Department managed a two-year postgraduate (Master’s) programme in Language and Multimedia Technologies with the following courses: Foundations of Computational Linguistics; Methods and Algorithms for Natural Language Technologies; Logic, Language and Information; Hypertext, Multimedia and Hypermedia; Tools and Systems for Interactive Learning; Computational Lexicography; Computational Morphology; 2D and 3D Graphic and Animation; Internet Computing and Professional Communications; Knowledge Technologies; Discrete Mathematics and Elements of Mathematical Logic; Algorithmics; Mathematical Foundations of Informatics; Computer Systems and Architectures; and Data Bases. Since the early 1980s members of the Department have been involved in organising extracurricular activities, conferences and workshops in the domain of its research interests, including contests and seminars in Linguistics (Theoretical, Mathematical and Computational) for secondary school students in Bulgaria and, since 2003, the International Olympiad in Linguistics.

The staff of the Department has authored more than 700 publications in international and national journals and proceedings of international and national conferences, as well as 19 monographs.