27.5007, Calls: Cog Sci, Comp Ling, Language Acquisition, Psycholing, Semantics/France

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LINGUIST List: Vol-27-5007. Wed Dec 07 2016. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 27.5007, Calls: Cog Sci, Comp Ling, Language Acquisition, Psycholing, Semantics/France

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Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:31:22
From: Christine Howes [christine.howes at gu.se]
Subject: Formal Approaches to the Dynamics of Linguistic Interaction: Workshop at ESSLLI 2017

Full Title: Formal Approaches to the Dynamics of Linguistic Interaction: Workshop at ESSLLI 2017 
Short Title: FADLI 

Date: 17-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2017
Location: Toulouse, France 
Contact Person: Christine Howes
Meeting Email: christine.howes at gu.se
Web Site: http://www.christinehowes.com/fadli 

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Semantics 

Call Deadline: 24-Feb-2017 

Meeting Description:

Workshop to be held at ESSLLI 2017 (www.irit.fr/esslli2017/) Toulouse, France
17-21 July 2017

Natural language use involves drawing information from different sources,
often in different modalities, and fitting it together. For example, to
understand the utterance ''Take this and that and put it there'' one has to be
able to track the pointing device and be clear about the different referents
of the deictic expressions. Similarly, for questions, syntactic structure and
intonation contour must be aligned. In conversation, phenomena such as split
utterances and other-repairs show that several speakers co-produce single
dialogue acts - even using non-standard phonetic, morphological and syntactic

Language is a key component of interaction, and, as work in a variety of
fields such as psycholinguistics and conversation analysis has emphasised, an
account of interaction is also crucial in the analysis of language. This poses
challenges for formal approaches to language, which have traditionally
abstracted away from the problems presented by the dynamic nature of
linguistic interaction. Some researchers have therefore concluded that
formalisation is inappropriate as a tool for the analysis of natural language.
However, formal approaches are not just desirable but necessary, both for a
precise understanding of language phenomena and for the development of
language technologies.

Taking interaction seriously means acknowledging the importance of the
dynamics in accounts of language. Languages can no longer be conceived of as
static systems of individual processes with modules operating independently.
This has consequences for the way we think about language at all levels -
including phonological, lexical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic components.
Not only must we consider the interaction between modules within an
individual, but we must also take into account the changes brought about by
the interactions between speakers and communities. Dynamic approaches are
therefore crucial for explaining diverse phenomena such as multiparty
interaction, language change and language acquisition.

Formal approaches must model both the different types of information to be
individuated and their interactions, setting up the structures algorithmically
in a principled manner. The validity of formal mechanisms to relate the
different types of information and compute the interactions can be evaluated
against corpus data, experimental data or intuitions. Here, simple mappings
will not do.  Instead we need dynamic tools such as update rules, joint
building of incremental structure or shifting of information to structurally
relevant places.

Recent work is beginning to tackle these issues from a formal perspective in a
number of disciplines, for example, models of diachronic change;
speaker-hearer coordination; semantic update; language acquisition; syntax for
dialogue; information state models of dialogue; embodied interaction;
human-agent interaction; reasoning; the speech-gesture interface and the
semantics of gesture and prosody.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers working on different formal
approaches to the dynamics of interaction to foster cross-disciplinary
collaboration around these issues.  We encourage contributions dealing with
material from typologically different languages and with different contexts of
language use, to address a linguistic public with a variety of interests and
working within different paradigms. Due to its formal orientation the workshop
will also be relevant to participants with a focus on logic and computation.
The organisers have extensive experience in working on dialogue theories, HCI,
multimodal corpora and speech-gesture integration.

Call for Papers:
Full details at www.christinehowes.com/fadli

It is uncontentious that natural language use involves interaction; between
participants in a dialogue, between modalities such as vision, gesture and
speech, and between new and existing information in language acquisition, for
example. Such interaction is dynamic; it proceeds in an increment-by-increment
fashion, with continual updating of information at all levels. 

Due to the dominance of structural accounts, these observations have only
recently been brought into focus in different disciplines where models for
information exchange have been initiated, notably in various paradigms of
dialogue theory, Dynamic Syntax and computational linguistics.

For our workshop we maintain a broad notion of interaction, roughly the
production and exchange of information between agents of some sort, be they
natural or artificial (e.g. avatars or modelling devices as in certain types
of logics). Hence, in addition to topics tied up with n-party communication
using different communication media and human-computer interaction we also
welcome contributions dealing with exchanges between semiotic systems or
contact between languages. In addition, on a more fine-grained level we would
like to have contributions on interaction between different modalities such as
speech and, respectively, nonverbal context, intonation, eye-tracking
processes, gesture, facial expression and perhaps still others. We favour
contributions which focus on the dynamics of the information exchange and
discuss formal models to reconstruct it.


Christine Howes, University of Gothenburg
Hannes Rieser, Bielefeld University

Submission Details:

We are accepting papers for both posters and oral presentations. Papers should
be up to 4 pages long in EACL 2017 format (details at

Submission will be through easychair

Important Dates:

Submissions deadline: 24 February 2017
Notification to authors: 15 April 2017
Final copy for proceedings: 15 May 2017
Program available: 1 June 2017


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