We report applications of language technology to analyzing historical documents in the Database for the Study of Modern Chinese Thoughts and Literature (DSMCTL). We studied two historical issues with the reported techniques: the conceptualization of "huaren" (Chinese people) and the attempt to institute constitutional monarchy in the late Qing dynasty. We also discuss research challenges for supporting sophisticated issues using our experience with DSMCTL, the Database of Government Officials of the Republic of China, and the Dream of the Red Chamber. Advanced techniques and tools for lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic processing of language information, along with more thorough data collection, are needed to strengthen the collaboration between historians and computer scientists.
International Journal of Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing, 16(4)