Computational Linguistics (CL) activities in Bulgaria have their origins in a period lasting a little more than a decade (1964 -1976). A group “Machine Translation and Mathematical Linguistics” existed then at the Institute of Mathematics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with a research program devoted to the problems of machine translation (MT) and to quantitative and statistical studies of Bulgarian language. Lead by Prof. Alexander Ljudskanov – an energetic pioneer of computer applications to language – the group made some important first steps in Russian-Bulgarian automatic translation and its achievements marked the beginning of a professional approach to the field. (This is the Bulgarian MT group mentioned by John Hutchins as “a research group established in mid-1960s”). The Linguistic Modelling Department (LMD) is a direct descendant of Ljudskanov’s group as his co-workers were LMD staff members for many years.
LMD is one of the very few CL centres in Eastern Europe, whose kernel was preserved during the last twenty five years as one administrative and scientific unit. LMD staff members successfully switched from the older Eastern academic style to collaboration on project basis with major European research institutions. While in the 80-ties of the last century the main LMD tasks were oriented to computational modelling of Bulgarian language, in the 90-ties LMD participated actively in international projects, funded by different European institutions. Today the group is active in a number of advanced CL fields including both development of linguistic resources and implementation of software applications.