[SIGCIS-Members] Origin of 'language'?

Pierre MOUNIER-KUHN mounier at msh-paris.fr
Wed Nov 5 09:36:38 PST 2014

Bonjour Marie, 

According to D. Nofre, M. Priestley, & G. Alberts' recent paper *, George Stibitz addressed the problem of "translating from mathematics to machine language " as soon as 1948. Yet the term does not seem to have taken on, as the priority was rather to build the machines themselves. This, until it was used in May 1954 at a symposium on automatic coding techniques organized by the Office of Naval Research, by J. H. Brown and John W. Carr who proposed a “dual language system and a programmed translation between the two languages, using the computer to perform the translation”, after which the concept of a programming language was gradually adopted. 

Pierre Mounier-Kuhn 

* “When Technology Became Language: The Origins of the Linguistic Conception of Computer Programming, 1950–1960”, Technology and Culture , vol. 55, no. 1, January 2014, pp. 47. 
See also Brian Lennon, http://bitfragment.net/blog/universal-pseudocode/ 

----- Mail original -----

De: "Marie Gevers" <marie.gevers at unamur.be> 
À: "members" <members at sigcis.org> 
Envoyé: Mercredi 5 Novembre 2014 10:13:09 
Objet: [SIGCIS-Members] Origin of 'language'? 

I wonder by whom and when the word 'language' was used for the first time in the framework of computer sciences. 
Can anybody enlighten me? 
Thanks in advance. 


Prof. Marie d'UDEKEM-GEVERS 
Chargée de cours 
Conseillère à la formation 
Professeure invitée au Collège Belgique 

Faculté d'Informatique et 
Centre d'Etudes Sciences et PHIlosophie à Namur (ESPHIN) 
Centre de Recherche Information, Droit & Société (CRIDS) 

T. +32 (0)81 724 973 
F. +32 (0)81 724 967 
marie.gevers at unamur.be 

Université de Namur ASBL 
Rue de Bruxelles 61 - 5000 Namur 

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