[Elsnet-list] EACL 2009 Workshop on the Linguistics and Computational Linguistics: Final Call for Participation

Timothy Baldwin tim at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Fri Mar 13 03:38:08 CET 2009

# Apologies for cross-postings

			 Final Call for Participation

			      EACL 2009 Workshop
				    on the
			     Interaction between
		  Linguistics and Computational Linguistics:
			Virtuous, Vicious or Vacuous?

				March 30, 2009

				Athens, Greece


NEW: We are pleased to announce that the workshop will be webcast live on the
day. We will post technical details on the website closer to the date of the

Deadline for pre-registration: March 23, 2009 (http://www.eacl2009.gr/conference/registration)

We are delighted to announce this unique event, bringing together a formidable
group of invited speakers and panelists to explore the interaction between
linguistics and computational linguistics. Join us to reflect on the past,
present and future of the linguistics--computational linguistics interface,
and explore the nature of the relationship between the two fields: virtuous,
vicious or vacuous.

Invited Speakers:

  Mark Johnson (Brown University, USA)
  Frank Keller (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  Mark Liberman (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  Stelios Piperidis (Institute for Language and Speech Processing, Greece)
  Geoffrey Pullum (University of Edinburgh, UK)


  Emily Bender (University of Washington, USA)
  Gregor Erbach (European Union)
  Bob Moore (Microsoft Research, USA)
  Gertjan van Noord (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
  Hans Uszkoreit (Saarland University, Germany)

The programme for the workshop and talk titles have now been finalised, and
are detailed on the workshop web page.


This workshop is an attempt to bring together linguists and computational
linguists across the broad spectrum of the two fields who operate across or
near the computational "divide", to reflect on the relationship between the
two fields, including the following questions:

  * What contributions has computational linguistics made to linguistics, and
    vice versa?

  * What are examples of success/failure of marrying linguistics and
    computational linguistics, and what can we learn from them?

  * How can we better facilitate the virtuous cycle between computational
    linguistics and linguistics?

  * Is modern-day computational linguistics relevant to current-day
    linguistics, and vice versa? If not, should it be made more relevant, and

  * What do computational and core linguistics stand to gain from greater
    cross-awareness between the two fields?

  * What untapped areas/aspects of linguistics are ripe for
    cross-fertilisation with computational linguistics, and vice versa?

On the basis of exploring answers to these and other questions, the workshop
aims to explore possible trajectories for linguistics and computational
linguistics, in terms of both concrete low-level tasks and high-level


In its infancy, computational linguistics drew heavily on theoretical
linguistics. There have been numerous examples of co-development successes
between computational and theoretical linguistics over the years
(e.g. syntactic theories, discourse processing and language resource
development), and significant crossover with other areas of linguistics such
as psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics.

Throughout the history of the field, however, there has always been a subset
of computational linguistics which has openly distanced itself from
theoretical linguistics, perhaps most famously in the field of machine
translation (MT) where there is relatively little in the majority of
"successful" MT systems that a core linguist would identify with. In the
current climate of hard-core empiricism within computational linguistics it is
appropriate to reflect on where we have come from and where we are headed
relative to the various other fields of linguistics. As part of this
reflection, it is timely to look beyond theoretical linguistics to the various
other fields of linguistics which have traditionally received less exposure in
computational linguistics, including sociolinguistics, historical linguistics,
neurolinguistics and evolutionary linguistics.  

Target Audience:

The workshop is intended to be of interest to both the large numbers of people
interested in deep linguistic processing (e.g. grammar developers,
computational syntacticians, computational semanticists, researchers working
on parsing and generation, and researchers applying deep linguistic processing
in various application areas), but also those who have perhaps explicitly
distanced themselves from linguistics, or who come from a linguistic
background but have moved away from it in their computational linguist
research. We also strongly encourage (pure) linguists to come along.

Workshop Organisers:

  Timothy Baldwin (University of Melbourne)
  Valia Kordoni (DFKI and Saarland University)

The workshop is endorsed by the Erasmus Mundus European Masters Program in
Language and Communication Technologies (LCT).

Address any queries regarding the workshop to:

  eacl2009-ling at unimelb.edu.au

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