[Elsnet-list] 1st Call for Papers - Workshop on the Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions

Villavicencio, Aline avill at essex.ac.uk
Mon Sep 27 12:37:19 CEST 2004

Second ACL-SIGSEM  Workshop on

The Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions and

their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications.


April 19th-21st, 2005, University of Essex, UK


Endorsed by SIGSEM, the ACL's Special Interest Group in Computational 



In the linguistic and computational linguistic communities, much of the effort has been devoted to the understanding of the syntax and semantics of verbs and nouns. On the other hand, prepositions, partly due to their very polysemic nature and the difficulty of identifying (cross-)linguistic regularities, have received much less attention.


Recently, however, there has been a growing awareness of the difficulties posed by prepositions and the importance of providing adequate means of capturing them, for many different applications. Several projects have now focused on the understanding of certain aspects of prepositions from perspectives such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), psycholinguistics and ethnolinguistics. 


For instance, some research has concentrated on spatial or temporal aspects of prepositions, and their cross-linguistic differences. Several investigations have also been carried out on quite diverse languages, emphasizing, for example, monolingual and cross-linguistic contrasts or the role of prepositions in syntactic alternations. These observations cover in general a small group of closely related prepositions. The semantic characterization of prepositions has also motivated the emergence of a few dedicated logical frameworks and reasoning procedures.


Languages like English have phrasal verbs, and these combinations of verbs and prepositions (in prepositional verbs or verb-particle constructions), have also been the subject of considerable effort, going from techniques for their automatic extraction from corpora, to methods for the determination of their semantics.  Other languages, like Romance languages or Hindi, either incorporate the preposition or include it in the prepositional phrase. All these configurations are semantically as well as syntactically of much interest. 


In NLP, PP attachment ambiguities have attracted a lot of attention, with different machine learning techniques having been employed with varying degrees of success. 


In this context, a successful workshop on prepositions was held in Toulouse, in September 2003, with papers presenting research in a wide variety of topics, examining prepositions in languages like French, English, German and Japanese, some from a more computational approach and others more linguistic. 


The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on prepositions from a variety of backgrounds, such as linguistics, NLP, AI and psycholinguistics, providing a forum for discussing, among others, the syntax, semantics, description, representation and computational applications of prepositions, with the ultimate aim to advance the state-of-the-art, identify challenges, and promote future collaborations among researchers interested in the different aspects of prepositions. 




We welcome papers describing original work on prepositions, preferably that can inform computational applications. We especially encourage submissions on the following topics:


-Aspects of the syntax and semantics of prepositions: prepositions in alternations, syntactic and semantic restrictions. General syntactic-semantic principles. Postpositions or other equivalent markers (e.g. case). Prepositions in constructions (phrasal verbs, determinerless PPs, etc)


-Polysemy of prepositions, identification and classification of preposition senses, contrastive uses, metaphorical uses, semantic and cognitive foundations for prepositions.


-Descriptions: prepositions in lexical resources (WordNet, Framenet), productive versus collocations uses, multi-lingual descriptions (mismatches, incorporation, divergences), prepositions and thematic roles.


-Applications: dealing with prepositions in applications e.g. for Machine Translation, Information extraction, Language Generation.


-Representation of Prepositions: prepositions in knowledge bases, cognitive or logic-based formalisms for the description of the semantics of prepositions (in isolation, and in composition/confrontation with the verb and the NP), compositional semantics. Implications for AI, KR. 


-Prepositions in reasoning procedures: how different kinds of preposition provide distinct challenges to a reasoning system and how they can be handled.


-Cognitive dimensions of prepositions: how different kinds of prepositions are acquired/interpreted/represented, in terms of human and/or computational processing.


Submissions should not exceed 8 pages and they must be in .ps or .pdf formats. The 12 point Times New Roman font is preferred, leave about 2.5 cm margins on both sides. More precise formatting instructions will be given for final versions, since a book publication is under preparation. Papers must be sent in electronic form to: prep05 at essex.ac.uk.






Submission deadline:    January 10th, 2005

Notification to authors: Feb 15th, 2005

Final paper due:         March 19th, 2005




Registration fees will be kept as low as possible.



Programme Committee:


Anne Abeille      (Université Paris 7, France)

Nicoletta Calzolari     (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale, Italy)

Markus Egg  (Saarland University, Germany)

Sonja Eisenbeiss  (University of Essex, UK)

Christiane Fellbaum     (Princeton University, USA)

Anette Frank      (DFKI, Germany)

Daniele Godard    (Université Paris 7, France)

Tracy King  (PARC, USA)

Valia Kordoni     (Saarland University, Germany)

Paola Merlo (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Gertjan van Noord (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Anna Papafragou   (University of Delaware, USA)

Henk van Riemsdijk      (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)

Louisa Sadler     (University of Essex, UK)

Patrick Saint Dizier    (IRIT, France)

Hidetosi Sirai    (Chukyo University, Japan)

Mark Steedman     (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Aline Villavicencio     (University of Essex, UK)

Tom Wasow   (Stanford University, USA)

Emile van der Zee (University of Lincoln, UK)

Joost Zwarts      (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)




Submissions and inquiries : prep05 at essex.ac.uk 


Local organizing committee : 


Aline Villavicencio (workshop chair)

Louisa Sadler 

Valia Kordoni


WEB site:   <http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~avill/Prep05.html> http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~avill/Prep05.html


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