I'd think you should have a look at How good is Perl for AI?
which has a in depth discussion of perl and artificial intelligence which -I think- is pretty close to your project.
If I may add this to my post at that time: I am currently very pleased with having chosen ruby for my PhD so far. I dunno what I'll say next week but it has been easy to test new things, produce this or that output, check for what happens when... and similar stuff. I think that this would work well in Perl, too, of course :-)
you begin bashing the string with a +42 regexp of confusion