LINGUIST List 10.1779

Tue Nov 23 1999

Calls: Germanic Syntax, Comp Ling/KR-2000

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. Zwart C.J.W., Syntax: Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter
  2. Leo Obrst, Comp Ling: KR-2000/ Semantic Approximation, Granularity,& Vagueness

Message 1: Syntax: Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 11:49:17 +0100 (MET)
From: Zwart C.J.W. <>
Subject: Syntax: Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter

 Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter, Fall 1999.
 Call for Contributions
 The editors of the Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter
 invite contributions for the Fall 1999 issue.
 We are especially interested in:
 - dissertation abstracts
 - book notices
 - calls for papers and conference announcements
 - conference reports
 - paper abstracts (15-20 lines max.)
 - titles of unpublished papers
 - bibliographic details of articles that have appeared or
 will appear in edited volumes or working paper volumes
 - home page information
 - other news
 All these contributions should be related to the field of
 germanic generative syntax.
 Please send your contributions to the following 
 email address:
 Subscription information:
 The Germanic Generative Syntax Newsletter is published in electronic
 form and is distributed via email and published on the web.
 To subscribe to the GGSN mailing list, or to manage your subscription,
 and for all other information on the GGSN, including earlier issues,
 go to:
 Jan-Wouter Zwart,

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Message 2: Comp Ling: KR-2000/ Semantic Approximation, Granularity,& Vagueness

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 08:00:12 -0500
From: Leo Obrst <>
Subject: Comp Ling: KR-2000/ Semantic Approximation, Granularity,& Vagueness

 * Call for Papers *
 Workshop on
 Semantic Approximation, Granularity, and Vagueness
 April 11, 2000

 A Workshop of the Seventh International Conference on
 Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
 April 12-16
 Breckenridge, Colorado, USA


It has been recognized in recent years that similar issues, problems,
and approaches underlie research on semantic approximation, partiality,
granularity (abstraction, precisification), and vagueness in four

� knowledge representation in artificial intelligence (formalization of
context, spatial and temporal knowledge bases)
� formal modeling (including denotational semantics, finite model theory
and descriptive complexity) in computer science
� formal ontology in analytical philosophy
� formal semantics and pragmatics in natural language (discourse
interpretation, semantics of plurals, tense, aspect, underspecification,

Some commonalities include the use of modal, temporal, and higher-order
logics and possible worlds semantics for characterizing the dynamic
interpretation of context, the employment of mereological and
topological methods for modeling concepts and domains, theories of
semantic abstraction and precisification, domain modeling using
structured formal constructs such as partially ordered sets, lattices,
boolean algebras, categories, topoi, etc.

It might also be said that the notion of similarity requires a notion of
semantic approximation, that one gauge of semantic approximation is
location on a scale from more precise (or concrete or specific) to less
precise (or abstract or general), but that such a gauge is inherently
multidimensional. In addition, the notion of a boundary region between
conceptually approximate objects may have to be explicated: How does one
know that A is approximately but not quite B? How does one determine
with increasing confidence an object to be in the extension of one
predicate rather than another, for example, that an object is tall or is
red? How should we interpret the formal constructs we use to
characterize these notions of approximation, granularity, and
abstraction, i.e., linguistically (as technical vocabulary only) or
ontologically (the formal objects have real existence), and what are the
implications of how we interpret these?

This workshop intends to bring together researchers in the computer
science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and philosophy
communities for the exchange of ideas and approaches to address issues
they may have in common, such as:

� Approximation, Partiality, Indefiniteness, and Vagueness
� Similarity, Commonality, Accessibility
� Abstraction and Precision: Notions of Semantic/Pragmatic Granularity
� Dynamic Interpretation and Incremental Meaning
� Formal Structures for Domain Models of Approximation
� Imprecise Ontologies
� Computational Implementations and Applications

Potential applications where the ideas of this workshop can be utilized
include information integration on the web, knowledge management,
multi-agent systems, software component composition, text summarization,
and natural language understanding.


Leo Obrst, Artificial Intelligence Center, The MITRE Corporation,
McLean, Virginia, USA (

Inderjeet Mani, Artificial Intelligence Center, The MITRE Corporation,
McLean, Virginia, USA (

Paolo Bouquet, Mechanized Reasoning Group, Department of Computer and
Management Sciences, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

Pat Hayes, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, University of West
Florida, Pensacola, Florida, USA

Aris M. Ouksel, College of Business Administration, The University of
Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, USA

Maarten de Rijke, Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation,
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


G�rard Becher, GREYC, Universit� de Caen, Caen, France

Massimo Benerecetti, Department of Computer and Management Sciences,
University of Trento, and IRST, Trento, Italy

Brandon Bennett, Division of Artificial Intelligence, School of Computer
Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Patrick Cousot, D�partement de Math�matiques et Informatique (DMI),
�cole Normale Sup�rieure (ENS), Paris, France

Chiara Ghidini, Department of Computing and Mathematics, Manchester
Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK

Angelo Montanari, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,
University of Udine, Udine, Italy

Manfred Pinkal, Department of Computational Linguistics, University of
Saarbruecken, Saarbruecken, Germany

Paul Portner, Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University,
Washington, DC, USA

James Pustejovsky, Department of Computer Science and Volen Center for
Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Barry Smith, Department of Philosophy, University of New York at
Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA

Achille C. Varzi, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, USA

Henk Verkuyl, Utrecht Institute for Linguistics OTS, University of
Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands


Authors should submit papers on one of the topics addressed by the
workshop or a related topic, with a maximum length of 10 pages
(excluding references). Papers should be submitted electronically (in
postscript format) to no later than January 
15, 2000. Author names, affiliations, and primary author contact 
information should accompany the submission. Note also that we are
negotiating with a major publisher for possible post-workshop 
publication of selected and revised papers. 


January 15, 2000 Submission deadline
February 15, 2000 Notification of acceptance
March 8, 2000 Camera-ready copy due
April 11, 2000 Workshop

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Leo Obrst 
The MITRE Corporation, Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence
1820 Dolley Madison Blvd, McLean, VA 22102-3481 
Phone: 703-883-7089 Email: 
Fax: 703-883-6435 "If the were and then a might be or."
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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