The fast-rising interest in computational methods within the humanities and social sciences is largely driven by the fact that texts in the 21st century are digitized. We digitize cultural heritage and literary classics, and new texts within mass communication, education, social media, journalism and literature are by default produced in digital formats. This development means, firstly, that it has become relatively easy to build large text corpora and, secondly, that computational methods, in particular natural language processing (NLP), have become increasingly important in the study of everything from literature and archeology to education and sociolinguistics. Consequently, explicit and detailed analysis of linguistic structure has become the central starting point of much contemporary research within the humanities and social sciences.
The aim of this special issue is to explore the limitations and possibilities of this new linguistic turn. We welcome linguistic, methodological, and philosophical perspectives on this issue from all areas of the humanities and the social sciences, focusing on the interface between computational linguistics and the humanistic and social science disciplines.