LINGUIST List 10.1783

Tue Nov 23 1999

Calls: Anaphora/Ellipsis, Human-Machine Conversation

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>

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


  1. Ruslan Mitkov, Special Issue of Computational Linguistics: Anaphora and

Message 1: Special Issue of Computational Linguistics: Anaphora and

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 19:00:28 +0000
From: Ruslan Mitkov <>
Subject: Special Issue of Computational Linguistics: Anaphora and

Ellipsis Resolution

 Call for Papers

Special Issue of Computational Linguistics: Anaphora and Ellipsis Resolution 

Guest editors: Ruslan Mitkov, Branimir Boguraev, Shalom Lappin

Anaphora and ellipsis both account for cohesion in text and are phenomena
of active study in formal and computational linguistics alike. The
correct interpretation of anaphora and ellipsis, as well as the
understanding of the relationship between them, is vital for Natural
Language Processing.

After considerable initial research, and after years of relative silence
in the early eighties, these issues have attracted the attention of many
researchers in the last 10 years and much promising work on the topic has
been reported. Discourse-orientated theories and formalisms such as DRT
and Centering have inspired new research on the computational treatment
of anaphora. The drive towards corpus-based robust NLP solutions has
further stimulated interest, for alternative and/or data-enriched
approaches. In addition, application-driven research in areas such as
automatic abstracting and information extraction, has independently
identified the importance of (and boosted the research in) anaphora and
coreference resolution. Ellipsis resolution too, being of particular
importance to a number of Natural Language Understanding applications
such as dialogue and discourse processing, has received increasing
attention. The growing interest in anaphora and ellipsis resolution has
been demonstrated clearly over the last 4--5 years through the MUC
coreference task projects and at a number of related fora (workshops,
conferences, etc.).

Against this background of expanding research and growing interest, this
special issue offers the opportunity for a high quality, and timely,
collection of papers on anaphora and ellipsis resolution.


The call for papers invites submissions of papers describing recent novel
and challenging work/results in anaphora and ellipsis resolution.
The range of topics to be covered will include, but will not be limited

 o new anaphora and ellipsis resolution algorithms,
 o factors in anaphora resolution: salience and interaction of factors,
 o techniques in ellipsis resolution,
 o use of theories and formalisms in anaphora resolution,
 o use of theories and formalisms in ellipsis resolution,
 o applications of anaphora/coreference resolution,
 o applications of ellipsis resolution,
 o multilingual anaphora resolution,
 o evaluation issues,
 o use/production of annotated corpora for anaphora and ellipsis.

In addition, we expect papers addressing various issues of debate related
to the resolution of anaphora and ellipsis, such as:

 o Is it possible to propose a core set of factors used in anaphora
 o When dealing with real data, is it at all possible to posit
 "constraints", or should all factors be regarded as "preferences"?
 o What is the case for languages other than English?
 o What degree of preference (weight) should be given to "preferential"
 factors? How should weights best be determined? What empirical
 data can be brought to bear on this?
 o What would be an optimal order for the application of multiple
 factors? Would this affect the scoring strategies used in selecting
 the antecedent?
 o Is it realistic to expect high precision over unrestricted texts?
 o Is it realistic to determine anaphoric links in corpora
 o Are all CL applications 'equal' with respect to their requirements
 from an anaphora resolution module? What kind(s) of compromises
 might be possible, depending on the NLP task, and how would
 awareness of these affect the tuning of a resolution algorithm for
 particular type(s) of input text?
 o Should ellipsis resolution be handled by syntactic or semantic
 o Is it necessary to retrieve both syntactic and semantic properties of
 the antecedent in the reconstructed representation of the elided

Finally, we invite discussion on various open questions from both
theoretical and computational point of view such as whether we should
construe ellipsis as entirely distinct from anaphora.

Submissions and Reviewing

The submission deadline is 1 April 2000. Authors can submit either
electronically or send 6 hard copies of their paper (for format and style
details, see to:

 Ruslan Mitkov ( 
 School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences 
 University of Wolverhampton 
 Stafford St.
 Wolverhampton WV1 1SB
 United Kingdom 

Please note that in addition to the submission, a 100-word abstract and
details of the author (following the format given at should be emailed to R.Mitkov.

Each submission will be reviewed both by experts appointed by the editor
of the journal and by members of the guest editorial board of the special
issue. In addition to the guest editors, 

 Ruslan Mitkov (University of Wolverhampton), 
 Branimir Boguraev (IBM Research, Yorktown Heights) and
 Shalom Lappin (University of London), 

the editorial board includes the following members:

 Nicholas Asher (University of Texas),
 Amit Bagga (GE CRD), 
 Claire Cardie (Cornell University), 
 David Carter (Speech Machines, Malvern),
 Eugene Charniak (Brown University),
 Walter Daelemans (University of Antwerp), 
 Mary Dalrymple (Xerox PARC), 
 Dan Hardt (Villanova University), 
 Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto), 
 Jerry Hobbs (SRI International), 
 Aravind Joshi (University of Pennsylvania),
 Lauri Karttunen (Xerox Research Center Europe), 
 Andrew Kehler (SRI International), 
 Christopher Kennedy (Northwestern University), 
 Massimo Poesio (University of Edinburgh), 
 Monique Rolbert (University of Marseille), 
 Stuart Shieber (Harvard University),
 Candy Sidner (Lotus Research), 
 Marilyn Walker (AT&T).
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Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 15:34:54 GMT
From: Yorick Wilks <>


 Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy
 3-5 July, 2000 

The Workshops on Human-Computer Conversation in Bellagio, Italy, took
place in 1997 and 1998, as small groups of experts from industry and
academia met to discuss this pressing question for the future of
Language Engineering, not as an academic question only, but chiefly to
bring forward for discussion computer demonstrations and activities
within company laboratories that were not being published or
discussed. The Workshops were highly successful in these aims and we
now wish to widen participation and add distinguished speakers, as
well as introducing more theoretical topics, though without losing the
practical emphasis. The theme of interactivity is now a key one in
Human Language Technology under the European Commission's Fifth
Framework Programme. The Bellagio site remains one of the finest in
the world, and it promoted excellent and intimate discussions in 1997
and 1998.

All details, previous program, program committee, accomodation and travel
are on the web site:

Invited speakers include (one has not yet accepted):

Dr B Alabisio, Microsoft, US
Dr J Hutchens, UWA, Australia
Professor G Leech, University of Lancaster, UK
Dr M Moens, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr U Reithinger, DFKI-Saarbruecken, DE
Dr T Strzalkowski, General Electric, US
Professor D Traum, University of Maryland, US


Contributions are invited on any aspect of human-computer
conversation. Two page abstracts should be sent by paper
or email to Gillian Callaghan at the address at the bottom:

Deadline for submission: 8 April 2000 
Notice of acceptance: 8 May 2000 
Camera ready paper due: 8 June 2000 

The European Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL) and
SIGDIAL have endorsed the meeting and endorsement has been sought from
ELSNET and support from the European Commission.

Informal inquiries to:

Yorick Wilks
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
Regent Court
211 Portobello St.,
Sheffield S1 4DP

phone: (44) 114 282 5561
fax: (44) 114 278 0972
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