Computational linguistics in Saarbrücken is rooted in a tradition of research going back to the beginning of the seventies. Interdisciplinary work started with a cluster of projects that were funded from 1973 until 1986 by the German Research Association (DFG) as the SFB 100 "Elektronische Sprachforschung". These projects performed pioneering work in Germany and, in effect, prepared the ground for our discipline. Saarbrücken also was the location for the German partner project of EUROTRA (1982-1993), a large European research effort in machine translation. In 1985, the AI Lab in the CS Dept. was established, that became the home of advanced research in language technology, user modelling and multimodal interfaces.
In 1988, the first Chair of Computational Linguistics was appointed, who built up the Department of General Linguistics which in practice developed into a Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics. The department was soon complemented by the Language Technology Lab at DFKI founded in 1989. Today, the department has four tenured professor positions (chairs) and a research and teaching staff of about 30 (see faculty and staff), the LT Lab at DFKI has a staff of 40. The Department offers Diplom (MSc) and doctoral programs in CL as well as MA and doctoral programs in Phonetics. It provides the academic focal point for numerous research activities in computational linguistics and language technology that are carried out at several university departments and other research centers.
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