Linguists do many different things. There's a nice Wall Street Journal article about linguists being hired by many high tech companies, for big bucks! You might also read Linguistics at Work, by Dallin Oaks.
For linguistics job listings, visit the Linguistic Society of America's webpage.
Sample Linguistics Technological Jobs
speech synthesis / speech recognition / speech and language pathology / translation / film dialog design / creating dictionaries, language databases, and grammars / information retrieval / military intelligence / language acquisition and teaching / text generation
http://www.geocities.com/aishasaidi provides introductory information on computational linguistics.
Some of the following are job-listings, some are homepages of the companies themselves.
***Note: These are NOT current job offerings! They are just meant to give you a sampling of the jobs available within specific areas along with the names of some companies that have, in the past, hired in these areas.***
One of their sample job ads:
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; General Linguistics; Morphology; Phonetics; Knowledge of Perl
Required Language(s): English, French, German, Standard Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romance
Description: VoiceSignal, the leading developer of speech solutions for mobile devices, is seeking an experienced Linguist to help us develop our multilingual embedded speech technologies and applications. We are looking for a Masters-level linguist with, preferably, prior experience in speech applications. Candidates must have working knowledge of two or more western European languages. Must also have some knowledge of Perl and its use for linguistic purposes; be highly attentive to detail; and be able to prioritize work based on project and language priorities. Candidates must have good project management skills and experience managing multiple simultaneous projects. This is a full-time position based at our headquarters in Woburn, MA.
- Develop pronunciations for a variety of languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian).
- Assist in lexical development and tokenization issues in a variety of languages.
- Coordinate and manage transfer of new data to researchers.
- Collaborate on error analysis efforts with researchers.
- Assist with phonological analysis for a variety of languages.
- Prioritize and manage linguistic work for multiple simultaneous projects.
- Masters degree in Linguistics with emphasis on phonetics.
- Experience working with written/spoken language corpora.
- Experience working with lexica and tagged language corpora.
- Some fluency in script-like programming languages (e.g. Perl, Python).
- Proven ability to take a pragmatic approach to solving linguistic problems and manage workflow.
- Near fluency of two or more of the following languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and/or Portuguese.
- Working knowledge of two or more of the following languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and/or Portuguese.
- Prior experience applying linguistic expertise in the speech technology industry would be ideal.
We offer a competitive benefits package with an opportunity to directly impact the success of the Company and embrace a diverse enviroment.
For consideration, please email (preferred), or fax your resume to:
jobs at voicesignal.com ; Fax: (781) 970-5300
Address for Applications:
Voice Signal Technologies, Inc.
150 Presidential Way
Woburn, MA 01801 USA
Application Deadline: 15-Sep-2006
Contact Information: Director, HR
Email: bwiner at voicesignal.com
Eloquent Technology, Inc.
They produce software that converts text to speech in various languages. This entails a lot of phonetics and phonology -- getting the spelling/punctuation rules right, to start with, then synthesizing the voice to pronounce it all by producing good approximations of formant values and other phonetic things, plus getting sentence intonation correct (my province) along with word stress and other stuff. A B.A. would be sufficient for some positions. The best qualifications at present would be near-native fluency in either Mandarin Chinese or Brazilian Portuguese combined with strong phonetics or phonology skills.
Based on 10 years of development at the Stanford Research Institute, Nuance technology enables people to do things that have never been done before. Our robust, enterprise-class applications are available in 10 languages and have been recognized for highly accurate speech recognition across a range of accents, languages, devices, and platforms. To see more about the job opening, click here. If you have questions about the company, contact Corey Miller.
Research on human-computer interaction and the design of next-generation multimodal systems, SprexTM does SPeech RECognition and Synthesis (from Tom Veatch)
The Natural Language Processing group at Microsoft Research tries to design and build a computer system that will analyze, understand, and generate natural languages. Our system takes input text, and moves through various stages of linguistic processing, from lexical/morphological analysis through syntax, semantics, and eventually pragmatics and discourse. Our approach makes heavy use of the information available in online dictionaries and other written works, from which we are able to extract a rich knowledge base, which can then be used to bootstrap into increasingly more advanced stages of machine understanding. The programming system, and the underlying linguistic principles, apply to all natural languages. We are empirically oriented, and do not follow any of the currently received linguistic theories in detail. However, we are happy to use good linguistic ideas wherever they can be found. Currently, our projects include Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. We are always on the look for good linguists interested in working with us. (from Hisami Suzuki)
Microsoft Research's NLP group is looking for a few linguists with a computational bent, or at least a penchant for developing broad-coverage theories. The job announcement encourages you to send a CV even if you don't fit the positions listed. (from Jason Eisner).
Panasonic employs people as "research linguists." It's a fulltime job and fairly well-paid. Here are a few of their current projects: The Speech Training group is working to develop programs that kids with various types of language disabilities (hearing impairments, autism, dyslexia, etc.) can use to improve their speech. These programs are basically computer games that kids play. For instance, there's a basketball game that kids use to gauge the amount of plosion they produce, and if they produce the correct amount, the ball goes into the basket.
This same group is working on a device that helps alaryngeal speakers sound natural. They analyze speech of people with no larynx to see exactly how it differs from "normal" speech, and how it can be improved.
The Synthesis group is developing a concatenative speech synthesizer that Panasonic will market for all kinds of different applications -- car navigation, reading for the visually impaired, etc. Everyone else in this group is either an engineer or a computer person; the linguist figures out what segments to use as source characteristics to provide natural-sounding intonation, etc. It's like building a language from scratch.
General Magic is hiring a dialog designer. Work with a team of dialog designers and engineers to design and develop voice user interface applications, products and tools. Job duties will include: designing dialogs, programming in Voice XML, writing voice recognition grammars, working with voice talent to records audio files, training others in how to design voice user interface systems that sound linguistically natural and have personality... Bachelors or Masters degree in Linguistics preferred.
Contact: Human Resources email@example.com
Address for Applications: 420 N. Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 USA
The Text Analysis and Language Engineering project at IBM Research, in New York, wishes to hire a computational linguist or lexicographer who will be responsible for a focused activity leading to the design and implementation of a functionally complete library of linguistic resources for American English. Click for more information.
ISOQuest Inso Corporation, a publisher of electronic reference databases located in Boston, MA, is looking for linguists with data conversion skills to convert electronic bilingual and multilingual dictionaries to SGML. Special consideration for these contract positions will be given to people with a background in Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and/or who have text processing skills (sed, awk, perl). SGML knowledge is helpful, but we are willing to train. Applicants from any geographic location will be considered, as long as they have internet access and proper equipment. (from Heidi Harley)
Zylab: Intern/possible employment
Natural Language Laboratory: Mad Science meets Summer Camp.
This is an opportunity to pursue your wildest ideas in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the context of a large NLP system with well worked-out infrastructure. The infrastructure is none other than the MUC-6/Lexis-Nexis/Penn Summer Camp software which features a bevy of state-of-the art tools all folded into one mammoth system.
The goal of the project is to explore interesting/implementable ideas with the infrastructure unfettered by looming delivery deadlines.
Requirements: Participants should have either a background in programming or linguistics. The group is open to graduate and undergraduates, and class credit is possible through independent study. Participants need not have a predefined research agenda-- we will spend initial meetings setting up the projects and allocating resources, and then we will move into prototyping cycles.
The overall goal of our MUC task is to annotate coreference between noun phrases, as in the relation between 'he' and 'the man' in "The man told John to leave the room. He then shut all the windows". There are many opportunities to improve the system, including:
- Integration of Verb knowledge into coreference.
- Split antecedents--as in "John called Bill. They went out."
- Extraction of predicate argument structure from text, either directly or using implemented parsers.
- Word sense disambiguation.
- Various kinds of data analysis (you don't necessarily have to program to participate).
- Detailed noun phrase semantics/syntax.
- Quoted Speech processing.
- Representation of Discourse models
- Representation of time.
There are undoubtedly many other possible enhancements, which many of you may already have ideas about. Participants can work on non-MUC-7 tasks as long as the project does not require substantial infrastructure changes to support it. (from Breck Baldwin)
Synthesys Technologies, a health information management company, is hiring a Linguistic researcher.
Perspecta Infonautics. This is a company that creates products to search and sort through information on the WWW and create summaries. On a discourse level: we try to identify what are recurring themes that across documents returned from a search engine. For example if asked about the "Beatles" we could return to you John, Paul, George and Ringo along with Liverpool, Entertainment, and Business. These themes can help you identify which documents might be of interest. (from Mike Schultz)
amazon.com is looking for developers with a head for natural language and information retrieval. We are interested in approaches to query processing and retrieval that are language independent. E-mail Mike Schultz if you have questions or are interested. (posted 2/99)
WANTED: Able-bodied U.S. Citizens with Native Level proficiency in Korean, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. OR intelligent people who are interested in learning any of a variety of languages at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey CA. Make no mistake, this is a job offer for service in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence field. It is not an offer for people looking to teach or people hoping for enrollment as a civilian. We are highly selective for these job positions and the benefits are numerous( Student loan repayment, free medical, cash enlistment bonuses and travel just to name a few.).
Contact: SFC Williams: (702) 639- 2009 or (702) 639-2010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Transparent Language products include the award-winning LanguageNow! series of computer-aided language-learning products, along with its numerous add-on Titles; WordAce!Talking Translation Dictionary and GrammarPro! reference series; and Easy Translator and Transcend translation software. For more information on our company, please visit our web site at www.transparent.com
The Learning Company's Foreign Language Division seeks Content Specialists with outstanding written and oral skills in English and one or more other languages. Ability to work successfully in a development-team environment, write engaging, pedagogically sound content within parameters set by others, and work with outside developers and translators is important. Responsible for accuracy and cultural appropriateness of all spoken and onscreen content and peripheral publications. Good working knowledge of Windows, databases and educational software. Strong interest in FL pedagogy and familiarity with current trends. Minimum of 3 years teaching experience.
Address resumes to Melissa Roberts at The Learning Company, 314 Erin Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919. Please indicate plans to attend ACTFL or MLA.
CoGenTex is a small company specialized in text generation. We have a need for a syntactician to work on our grammar of English over the summer. Our grammar is a multistratal dependency grammar based on Melcuk's Meaning-Text Theory (Melcuk 1988). However, no special knowledge of dependency grammar is needed, assuming a reasonable understanding of syntax and a native-speaker command of English. The work could be full time or part time, and could be performed either in Philadelphia, PA, or in Ithaca, NY. Compensation commensurate with syntactic acumen. (from Owen Rambow)
Career Services (Hood House, Room 102, 862-2010, M-F, 8-4:30) helps students establish career goals, explore employment opportunities, and brush-up on interviewing and resume-writing skills. Resources available through Career Services include vocational interest testing, a computer career decision making package (FOCUS), a job locator program to help students locate part-time and summer jobs, and a network of alumni and parent career advisors. Career Services also coordinates a senior recruiting program (where employers come on campus and interview students that have submitted resumes) and a Career Fair (where dozens of employers are available to meet with students and answer questions). A list of job-related web sites is available from the Career Services office.