Appel: Cognitive aspects of computational language acquisition (ACL 2007 Workshop)

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Tue Jan 30 14:59:29 UTC 2007

Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 19:10:38 +0100
From: Thierry.Poibeau at
Message-ID: <20070129191038.bvwdt13bg5uss4ck at>


                     CALL for PAPERS

                   ACL 2007 Workshop on


                     29th June, 2007
                  Prague, Czech Republic


Workshop Description

The past decades have seen a massive expansion in the
application of statistical and machine learning methods to
natural language processing (NLP). This work has yielded
impressive results in numerous speech and language
processing tasks, including e.g. speech recognition,
morphological analysis, parsing, lexical acquisition, semantic
interpretation, and dialogue management. The good results
have generally been viewed as engineering achievements.

Recently researchers have begun to investigate the relevance
of computational learning methods for research on human
language acquisition. These investigations are very important
since if computational techniques can be used to improve our
understanding of human language acquisition, this will not only
benefit cognitive sciences in general but will reflect back to NLP
and place us in a better position to develop useful language

Some examples of recent investigations include:

* statistical lexical acquisition and analysis of corpora
  to gain more accurate descriptions of the learning environment,
  to investigate the lexical properties of developmental stages,
  and to quantify differences between child and adult productions;

* computational models which investigate the capabilities of
  particular theories (notably the benefit and practicality of
  Universal Grammar);

* biologically motivated neural networks which investigate the
  acquisition of specific lexical constructions.

Success in this type of research requires close collaboration
between NLP and cognitive scientists. To this end, interdiciplinary
workshops can play a key role in advancing existing and initiating
new research. This was demonstrated by two successful workshops
held at COLING 2004 and ACL 2005 which focussed on psycho-
computational models of human language acquisition. However,
in general, there has been little space at major NLP conferences
for cognitive aspects of language acquisition. Even CoNLL which
was originally intended to provide a venue for research on
(psycho)linguistically relevant machine learning work
has only occasionally provided a forum for work.

Target Audience

Our workshop aims to bring together researchers from the
diverse fields of NLP, machine learning, artificial intelligence,
(psycho)linguistics, etc. who are interested in the relevance of
computational techniques for understanding human language
learning. The workshop is intended to bridge the gap between
the computational and cognitive communities, promote
knowledge and resource sharing, and help initiate
interdiciplinary research projects.

Areas of Interest

Papers are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

* Computational learning theory and analysis of language

* Computational models of human (first, second and bilingual)
  language acquisition

* Computational models of various components of the language
 faculty and their impact on the acquisition task

* Computational models of the evolution of language

* Data resources and tools for investigating computational
  models of human language acquisition

* Empirical and theoretical comparisons of the learning
  environment  and its impact on the acquisition task

* Computational methods for acquiring various linguistic
 information (related to e.g. speech, morphology, lexicon,
 syntax, semantics, and discourse) and their relevance to
 research on human language acquisition

* Investigations and comparisons of supervised, unsupervised
  and weakly-supervised methods for learning (e.g. machine
  learning, statistical, symbolic, biologically-inspired, active
  learning, various hybrid models) from the cognitive aspect

Papers can cover one or more of these areas.

Submission Information

Papers should describe original work and should indicate
the state of completion of the reported results. In particular,
any overlap with previously published work should be clearly
mentioned. Submissions will be judged on correctness, novelty,
technical strength, clarity of presentation, usability, and
significance/relevance to the workshop.

Submissions should follow the two-column format of the
ACL 2007 main-conference proceedings and should not exceed
eight (8) pages, including references. We strongly recommend the
use of either the LaTeX style file or the Microsoft-Word Style file,
which can be found at

The reviewing will be blind. Therefore, the paper should not
include the authors' names and affiliations. Furthermore, self-
citations and other references that could reveal the author's
identity should be avoided.

Submission will be electronic. The only accepted format for
submitted papers is Adobe PDF. Papers must be submitted
no later than March 26, 2007 using the submission webpage

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program
Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines
regarding how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers
for inclusion in the ACL workshop proceedings.

Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline: 26 March 2007
Acceptance notification sent: 20 April 2007
Final version deadline: 9 May 2007
Workshop date: 29 June 2007

Workshop Chairs

Paula Buttery
University of Cambridge, UK

Aline Villavicencio
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Anna Korhonen
University of Cambridge, UK

Address any queries regarding the workshop to:
cognitive-2007 at

Program Committee

Colin J Bannard (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
   Anthropology, Germany)
Robert C. Berwick (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Antal van den Bosch (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
Chris Brew (Ohio State University, USA)
Ted Briscoe (University of Cambridge, UK)
Robin Clark (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Stephen Clark (University of Oxford, UK)
Alexander Clark (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)
Matthew W. Crocker (Saarland University, Germany)
James Cussens (University of York, UK)
Walter Daelemans (University of Antwerp, Belgium and
   Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
Bruno Gaume (Universite Paul Sabatier, France)
Ted Gibson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Julia Hockenmaier (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Marco Idiart (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
Mark Johnson (Brown University, USA)
Aravind Joshi (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Gerard Kempen (Leiden University, Netherlands)
Brian MacWhinney (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Martin Pickering (University of Glasgow, UK)
Thierry Poibeau (University Paris 13, France)
Ari Rappoport (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Kenji Sagae (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Sabine Schulte im Walde (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
Mark Steedman (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Suzanne Stevenson (University of Toronto, Canada)
Charles Yang (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Menno van Zaanen (Macquarie University, Australia)

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