Linguistic Technologies, Inc. (hereafter LingTech) is a privately held Nevada Corporation that has specialized in the development of natural-language software applications since its incorporation in 1986. LingTech management believes that language is mankind’s most valuable asset.
At its inception, LingTech founder and president, Dr. Eldon G. Lytle, vested the company with an endowment of experience and intellectual property garnered during the course of fifteen-plus years of research and development in computer-assisted translation and automated language processing.
Birth of WordMAP WAAS™
In 1986 LingTech fielded the WordMAP Writing Aids and Assessment System (WordMAP WAAS™), the first language-of-mind oriented writing aids/assessment software designed for and marketed exclusively to the education market. WordMAP WAAS™, as the name suggests, was designed to construct high resolution relief maps, as it were, of the mental terrain underlying texts and to evaluate them. The successful outcome of the software’s beta test was announced and its details published in 1986 (Click here for the report.). This product, which, in addition to providing advanced grammar/style/spell checking, offered linguistic maturity testing for student writers as well as author identification on its menu of options, eventually found its way into elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, universities, and even graduate business school.
Linguistic Maturity Testing
Among the assets with which Dr. Lytle endowed LingTech was a database of student writings, grades 5 -12. The comparative analysis of student profiles that WordMAP WAAS™ generated from this database during its beta test in 1986 revealed systematic linguistic development modulated by age, which, when expressed as a function of leading age-group indicators, enabled the software to place student writings on a standard maturation scale. It was evident from these results who would succeed at the college level and who would not – unless steps were taken before the fact to bring linguistically immature students up to scale in their reading and writing.
Junction Grammar and JGPL
The intricate text-analysis algorithms implemented by WordMAP WAAS™ were facilitated by JGPL, a special-purpose programming language based on Junction Grammar, both of which were created by Dr. Lytle. JGPL is a proprietary, language-independent programming asset designed for the rapid development of applications in any language.
The Educational Testing Service (ETS)
LingTech subsequently went on to pioneer computerized comparative-evaluation of written products in cooperation with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Their successful WordMAP-driven computer simulation of writing-skills assessment by trained readers was reported at the annual meetings of the American Research Association and the National Council of Measurement in Education in 1990 (click for the report). Quoting the report:
… computer analysis of student writing can provide a level of detail in feedback to students, teachers, and others that is not possible using human readers alone. This kind of feedback has important implications for instruction in English composition. Moreover, computer analysis can provide detailed feedback on many written products, even lengthy ones; a teacher of English will normally provide detailed feedback on only a few brief essays.
WordMAP WAAS™ also broke new ground with its automated assessment of specific writing skills, including mastery of syntax, punctuation, vocabulary, and grammar.
The Internet Writing Lab
More recently, LingTech has undertaken to deliver text-checking and assessment services via the internet. For an explanation of these services, click here.