Keith Hutchinson of the Huffington Post recently discussed an approach being used by Deb Roy to discover what Big Data can teach us about language. Hutchinson writes, “Philosophers and scientists have long wondered how human knowledge is acquired and organized. One area of specific interest concerns how we come to understand a word and both its relation to a physical referent in the world (i.e., referential meaning) and its relation to other words (i.e., sense meaning). In this regard, large scale projects like Deb Roy’s are becoming increasingly helpful. Professor Deb Roy’s study is a great example of how large-scale databases can answer important questions beyond those obtainable from standard experiments.” Read more