[Elsnet-list] Call for papers: Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages

Shuly Wintner shuly at cs.haifa.ac.il
Fri Sep 26 16:09:09 CEST 2008

EACL-2009 Workshop on
Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages

Co-located with The 12th Conference of the
European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Athens, Greece, either Tuesday, March 31st, or Monday, March 30th, 2009


The Semitic family includes many languages and dialects spoken by a
large number of native speakers (around 300 million). However, Semitic
languages as a whole are still understudied. The most prominent
members of this family are Arabic (and its dialects), Hebrew, Amharic,
Aramaic, Maltese and Syriac. Their shared ancestry is apparent through
pervasive cognate sharing, a rich and productive pattern-based
morphology, and similar syntactic constructions.

An increasing body of computational linguistics work is starting to
appear for both Arabic and Hebrew. Arabic alone, as the largest member
of the Semitic family, has been receiving much attention lately via
dedicated projects such as MEDAR, as well as workshops and conferences.
These include, among others, the Arabic Natural Language Processing
Workshop (ACL 2001, Toulouse, France), the workshop on Arabic Language
Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2002, Las Palmas, Canary Islands), a
special session on Arabic processing in Traitement Automatique du
Langage Naturel (TALN 2004, Fes, Morocco), the NEMLAR Arabic Language
Resources and Tools Conference (2004, Cairo, Egypt), The Challenge of
Arabic for NLP/MT (October 2006, London, U.K.), and the series of
workshops on Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (ACL 1998,
Montreal, Canada; ACL 2005, Ann Arbor, USA; and ACL 2007, Prague,
Czech Republic) . The increase in attention to Arabic has been coupled
with a surge in computational resources for this language, made
available to the community by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) and
by the European Language Resources Association (ELRA/ELDA). Tools and
resources for other Semitic languages are being created at a slower
rate. While corpora and some tools are necessarily language-specific,
ideally there should be more cross-fertilization among research and
development efforts for different Semitic languages.

The workshop will be an opportunity for the Special Interest Group on
Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (the SIG) to meet and
discuss future direction in Computational Linguistics and Natural
Language Processing approaches to Semitic Languages.


We invite submissions on all Semitic languages, including work
describing recent state-of-the-art NLP systems and work leveraging
resource and tool creation for the Semitic language family. We
especially welcome submissions on work that crosses individual
language boundaries, heightens awareness amongst Semitic-language
researchers of shared challenges and breakthroughs, and highlights
issues and solutions common to all Semitic languages.

Papers should describe original work; they should emphasize completed
work rather than intended work, and should indicate clearly the state
of completion of the reported results. A paper accepted for
presentation at the Workshop cannot be presented or have been
presented at any other meeting with publicly available published
proceedings. Papers that are being submitted to other conferences or
workshops must indicate this on the submission page.

Reviewing of papers will be double-blind, and all submissions will
receive three independent reviews. Final decisions on the program will
be made by the Program Committee. Submissions will be assessed with
respect to appropriateness, clarity, soundness/correctness, meaningful
comparison, originality/innovativeness, and impact of ideas or
results. All papers that are accepted will be published in the
proceedings of the Workshop, and will be presented as a poster or an
oral presentation. At least one author of each accepted paper is
expected to attend the Workshop and present the paper. The language of
the Workshop is English.

Submission will be electronic, via a web-service to be annoaunced
later. Please consult the Workshop web page for more details:

Important dates:

Dec 19, 2008 Deadline for paper submission
Jan 30, 2009 Notification of acceptance of papers
Feb 13, 2009 Camera-ready copies due
Mar 30-31, 2009 EACL 2009 workshops


Mike Rosner, Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of  
Malta, Malta
Shuly Wintner, Department of Computer Science, University of Haifa,  

Program Committee:

Ann Bies (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Tim Buckwalter (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Violetta Cavalli-Sforza (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Mona Diab (Columbia University, USA)
Joseph Dichy (University of Lyon 2, France)
Michael Elhadad (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
Martha W. Evens (Illinois Institute of Technology, USA)
Ray Fabri (University of Malta)
Ali Farghaly (Oracle, USA)
Andrew Freeman (Washington University, USA)
Albert Gatt (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Gregory Grefenstette, (LIC2M/CEA-LIST France)
Nizar Habash (Columbia University, USA)
Alon Itai (Technion/Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Steven Krauwer (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
Mohamed  Maamouri (LDC, University of Pennsylvania USA)
Bente  Maegaard  (CST, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nurit Melnik (Oranim College, Israel)
Uzzi Ornan  (Technion, Israel)
Owen  Rambow (Columbia University, USA)
Mike Rosner (University of Malta, Malta) co-chair
Paolo  Rosso (Universidad Politecnica Valencia, Spain)
Khalil Sima'an (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Abdelhadi Soudi (Ecole Nationale de l'Industrie Minerale, Morocco)
Adam Ussishkin (University of Arizona, USA)
Shuly Wintner (University of Haifa, Israel) co-chair
Imed Zitouni (IBM Research, USA)

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