[Elsnet-list] PsychocompLA-2009 Call for papers

pcomp at hunter.cuny.edu pcomp at hunter.cuny.edu
Wed Apr 15 21:15:05 CEST 2009

************************ Call for Short Papers 

Psychocomputational Models of Human Language 
Acquisition (PsychoCompLA-2009)

July 28th & 29th at CogSci 2009 - Amsterdam, 

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2009


Workshop Topic:

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

Invited Speakers:

* Tom Griffiths, University of California, Berkeley
* Amy Weinberg, University of Maryland (to be 

Workshop History: 
This is the fifth 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), 
PsychoCompLA-2007 held in Nashville,
Tennessee as part of the 29th meeting of the Cognitive 
Science Society (CogSci-
2007), and PsychoCompLA-2008 held in Washington 
D.C., as part of the 30th meeting
of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-2008). Given 
the increasing interest,
this year the workshop will be spread over two days 
directly before the main
conference of the 31st meeting of the Cognitive Science 
Society (CogSci-2009)
which begins on July 30th, 2009.

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:

Short papers that present research on (but not 
necessarily limited
to) the following topics are welcome:

* 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
* Models that have a cross-linguistic or bilingual 
* Models that address learning bias in terms of innate
linguistic knowledge versus statistical regularity in the
* Models that employ language modeling techniques 
from corpus
* 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 
linguistic or developmental theories (e.g., principles &
parameters, optimality theory, construction grammar, 
* Empirical models that make use of child-directed 
corpora such

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 Organizers:
Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam (rens.bod at uva.nl)
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York  
(sakas at hunter.cuny.edu) 
Workshop Co-Organizer:
Taylor Cassidy, City University of New York 
(Pyshco.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu)

Submission details:

Authors are invited to submit short papers of 
(maximally) 2 pages of narrative
plus 2 pages for data, references and other 
supplementary materials. Papers
should be anonymous, clearly titled and the narrative 
section should be no more
than 1400 words in length. Either PDF, or MS Word 
formats are acceptable. Please
include a cover sheet (as a separate attachment) 
containing the title of your
submission, your name, contact details and affiliation. 
Send your submission
electronically to

Email: Psycho.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu.
     with  PsychoCompLA-2009 Submission  somewhere 
in the subject line.


The accepted papers will appear in the online workshop 
proceedings. Full papers
of accepted short papers will be considered in Fall 2009 
for inclusion in an
issue of the new Cognitive Science Society Journal - 
topiCS - whose focus will
be psychocomputational modeling of human language 

Submission deadline: May 15, 2009

Contact: Psycho.Comp at hunter.cuny.edu
       with  PsychoCompLA-2009  somewhere in the 
subject line.

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