Words and bytes (French)

Date of publication: September 1, 1988

Author: Pascal Fleury


The applications of computer language analysis in studies originated when micro-computing, linguistics and marketing came together. Since the principal element available for studies is language itself, analysts have concentrated upon creating methods and tools which enable them to analyse it. A word's meaning depends upon the context of the other words which surround it; lexicologists have created tools which make the best use of this environment and have applied this to market research. In this way, it has been possible to create new computer programmes which bear little resemblance to software available on the market (word-processing, data bases, translating machines). It was only when users began to have easy access to computers that they concentrated upon the full development of language analysis. It finds its legitimacy not by trying to replace other methods of analysis, but by working alongside them with the aim of obtaining clearer results and responding to the increasing demands of advertisers who want to know, to the exact word, the positioning of their product, the image of their brand or the specificity of their target. The development of computer language analysis is highly dynamic, and one is often surprised to discover how many people are actually working on it.

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