[Elsnet-list] Call for Participation: PsychoCompLA-2007

pcomp at hunter.cuny.edu pcomp at hunter.cuny.edu
Thu Jul 5 16:17:39 CEST 2007

************* Call for Participation **************

Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition



August 1st at CogSci 2007 - Nashville, Tennessee

Workshop Topic:

The workshop is devoted to psychologically-motivated computational models of language acquisition. That is, models that are compatible with research in psycholinguistics, developmental psychology and linguistics.


* Elissa Newport, University of Rochester
      Statistical language learning: Computational and maturational constraints
* Shimon Edelman, Cornell University
      The next challenges in unsupervised language acquisition: dependencies and complex sentences
* Robert Frank, Johns Hopkins University
      Transformational Networks
* Alex Clark, Royal Holloway University of London
      Learnable representations of languages: something old and something new
* Charles Yang, University of Pennsylvania
      The next challenges in unsupervised language acquisition: dependencies and complex sentences
* Robert C. Berwick, MIT & Sandiway Fong, University of Arizona
      The Great (Penn Treebank) Robbery: When statistics is not enough
* Amy Perfors, MIT, Terry Regier, University of Chicago & Josh Tenenbaum, MIT
      Indirect evidence and the poverty of the stimulus
* Dave Cochran, University of St. Andrews
      Selective Attention and Darwinised Data-Oriented Parsing
* Garrett Mitchener, College of Charleston & Misha Becker, University of North Carolina
      A computational model of learning verb subclasses in natural L1 acquisition
* Sharon Goldwater, Stanford University
      Distributional Models of Syntactic Category Acquisition: a Comparative Analysis
* Marco Tamburelli, University College London
      Are set-theoretic concepts still useful to children?
* Nicole Sager, Seth Herd & Eliana Colunga, University of Colorado at Boulder
      Modeling the Development of Bilingual and Second Language Reading
* Andrew Olney, University of Memphis
      Semantic Heads for Grammar Induction

Workshop Description:

This workshop will present research and foster discussion centered around psychologically-motivated computational models of language acquisition, with an emphasis on the acquisition of syntax. In recent decades there has been a thriving research agenda that applies computational learning techniques to emerging natural language technologies and many meetings, conferences and workshops in which to present such research. However, there have been only a few (but growing number of) venues in which psychocomputational models of how humans acquire their native language(s) are the primary focus. By psychocomputational models we mean models that are compatible with, or might inform research in psycholinguistics, developmental psychology or linguistics.

Psychocomputational models of language acquisition are of particular interest in light of recent results in developmental psychology that suggest that very young infants are adept at detecting statistical patterns in an audible input stream. Though, how children might plausibly apply statistical 'machinery' to the task of grammar acquisition, with or without an innate language component, remains an open and important question. One effective line of investigation is to computationally model the acquisition process and determine interrelationships between a model and linguistic or psycholinguistic theory, and/or correlations between a model's performance and data from linguistic environments that children are exposed to.

Although there has been a significant amount of presented research targeted at modeling the acquisition of word categories, morphology and phonology, research aimed at modeling syntax acquisition has just begun to emerge.

Workshop History:

This is the third meeting of the Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition workshop following PsychoCompLA-2004, held in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2004) and PsychoCompLA-2005 as part of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL-2005) held in Ann Arbor, Michigan where the workshop shared a joint session with the Ninth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2005).

Workshop Organizers:
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York
(sakas at hunter.cuny.edu)

David Guy Brizan, City University of New York
(dbrizan at gc.cuny.edu)

Topics and Goals:

This workshop intends to bring together researchers from cognitive psychology, computational linguistics, other computer/mathematical sciences, linguistics and psycholinguistics working on all areas of language acquisition. Diversity and cross-fertilization of ideas is the central goal.

Contact: Psycho.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu

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