HYDERABAD: Switching from our local language to more common languages like English, or Hindi is common among Indians. Considering how diverse the country is, and that it is also multi-linguistic, a researcher from Texas travelled to Hyderabad to study this switching of languages, which is called code switching or code mixing in linguistics.
Kelsey Ball, a 23-year-old came to the city under the Fullbright-Nehru scholarship to IIIT-Hyderabad as the Language Technology Research Centre (LTRC) at the university would help further her research.
Kelsey’s research in the LTRC lab was aimed to improve human language technology in Indian contexts. “India is a pretty diverse linguistic environment because most people are multilingual to some degree. People often switch back and forth between different languages. In the LTRC we are building algorithms that better model this kind of linguistic behaviour,” she said.
Kelsey’s work focuses on automatically identifying the part-of-speech of a word in code-mixed text, which can be used for higher-level language systems like Siri/Alexa, search engines, etc.