[Elsnet-list] Final Call for Participation: Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition

William Sakas Psycho.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu
Fri Jul 11 21:15:05 CEST 2008


**** FINAL CALL FOR PARTICIPATION ****

Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition 
(PsychoCompLA-2008) 
July 23rd at CogSci 2008 - Washington, D.C. 

http://www.colag.cs.hunter.cuny.edu/psychocomp/ 
 
** New: List of presentations **

** Note that there is no registration fee for workshops at CogSci 2008.
** The Main Registration fee for CogSci 2008 covers workshops and tutorials.

Apologies for multiple postings 
 
* 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. 

* Special Theme: 
Although the workshop program speaks to many facets of psychocomputational 
language acquisition modeling, the theme of the workshop this year is: 
 
Computational resources: How much is just right, and does it matter? 
 
The computational resources (e.g., number of calculations per input 
datum, size
of memory store, etc.) employed by current psychocomputational modeling 
efforts
vary tremendously from model to model. However, two important questions 
have
rarely been addressed. How well do a particular acquisition model's 
resources
parallel the resources employed by a human language learner? And, how 
relevant
(or not) is it to establish such a relationship? 
 
* Invited Speakers:
 
-- Rens Bod, Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of 
             Amsterdam 
-- Damir Cavar, University of Indiana and Zadar University
-- Jeffery Lidz, University of Maryland 
-- Gary Marcus, New York University 
-- Josh Tenenbaum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
 
* Presentations

Towards Understanding the Role of Semantics in Natural Language Acquisition
  Dana Angluin and Leonor Becerra-Bonache, Yale University

Evaluating constructivist theory via unsupervised Bayesian grammar 
induction
  Colin Bannard and Elena Lieven, Max Planck Institute For Evolutionary
                                  Anthropology
  Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute For Evolutionary Anthropology and
                     School of Psychological Sciences, University of 
Manchester

Modelling semantic property acquisition from single linguistic exposures
  Marco Baroni, University of Trento
  Alessandro Lenci, University of Pisa
  Brian Murphy and Massimo Poesio, University of Trento

Incorporating phrase structure into an n-gram model of syntax acquisition
  XuÉn-Nga Cao-Kam, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Efficient learning of natural languages with lattice based representations
  Alexander Clark, Royal Holloway University of London

Can Statistical Parsers WOW! You: A Cognitive Assessment
  Sandiway Fong, University of Arizona
  Robert C. Berwick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bayesian Decision Theory, Iterated Learning and Portuguese Clitics
  Catherine Lai, University of Pennsylvania

Computational Resources, How much is just right, and does it matter?
  William Gregory Sakas, Hunter College and The Graduate Center
                         City University of New York

Modeling Artificial Grammar Learning Results: Why Claims About 
Structural Cues Have Yet
To Be Substantiated
  Sarah VanWagenen, Stanford University

Empirical evidence for recursive hierarchical structure in child language
  Willem Zuidema, Leiden University and Institute for Logic, Language and
                  Computation, University of Amterdam


* Workshop History: 
This is the fourth 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), 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), and PsychoCompLA-2007
held in Nashville, Tennessee as part of the 29th meeting of the 
Cognitive Science 
Society (CogSci-2007). 
 
* Workshop Description: 
The 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. 
 
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. 
 
* Topics and Goals: 
Research on the following topics will be presented: 
 
- Models that address the acquisition of word-order; 
- Models that combine parsing and learning; 
- Formal learning-theoretic and grammar induction models that incorporate 
psychologically plausible constraints; 
- Comparative surveys that critique previously reported studies; 
- Models that have a cross-linguistic or bilingual perspective; 
- Models that address learning bias in terms of innate linguistic 
knowledge 
versus statistical regularity in the input; 
- Models that employ language modeling techniques from corpus linguistics; 
- Models that employ techniques from machine learning; 
- Models of language change and its effect on language acquisition or 
vice versa; 
- Models that employ statistical/probabilistic grammars; 
- Computational models that can be used to evaluate existing linguistic or 
developmental theories (e.g., principles & parameters, optimality theory, 
construction grammar, etc.) 
- Empirical models that make use of child-directed corpora such as 
CHILDES. 
 
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. 
 
* Workshop Organizer: 
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York 
(sakas at hunter.cuny.edu) 
 
* Workshop Co-organizer: 
David Guy Brizan, City University of New York 
(dbrizan at gc.cuny.edu) 
 
* Program Committee: 
Rens Bod, Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of 
Amsterdam, Netherlands 
David Guy Brizan, City University of New York, USA 
Damir Cavar, University of Indiana, USA and Zadar University, Croatia 
Gary Marcus, New York University 
Nick Chater, University of College London, UK 
Alex Clark, Royal Holloway University of London, UK 
Rick Dale, University of Memphis, USA 
Jeffery Lidz, University of Maryland, USA 
Gary Marcus, New York University, USA 
Lisa Pearl, University of California, Irvine, USA 
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York, USA 
Josh Tenenbaum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 
Charles D. Yang, University of Pennsylvania, USA 
 
* Contact: Psycho.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu 
with "PsychoCompLA-2008" somewhere in the subject line.

-- 
William Gregory Sakas
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Linguistics
Hunter College and the Graduate Center
City University of New York (CUNY)
Email:   sakas at hunter.cuny.edu
Voice:  1 212 772.5211
Fax:      1 212 772.5219

David Guy Brizan
Computer Science
Graduate Center & Hunter College
City University of New York (CUNY)
Email: dbrizan at gc.cuny.edu



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