LINGUIST List 10.1993

Tue Dec 21 1999

Calls: Interlingual Approaches to NLP

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Stephen Helmreich, Interlingual Approaches to NLP

Message 1: Interlingual Approaches to NLP

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 14:25:36 -0700 (MST)
From: Stephen Helmreich <>
Subject: Interlingual Approaches to NLP


	 Workshop on Applied Interlinguas: 
 Practical Applications of Interlingual Approaches to NLP
 (pre-conference workshop in conjunction with ANLP-NAACL2000)

	 Sunday, April 30, 2000
	 Seattle, Washington, USA

The organizing committee wishes to invite submissions to the Workshop
on the Practical Applications of Interlingual Approaches to NLP which
will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2000, in conjunction with the

Interlingual approaches to NLP have been developed within the field of
Machine Translation. The central goal is to analyze natural language
expressions in terms of a representation language that will capture
those aspects of a communication which permit the generation of an
equivalent expression in some other language (that is, a
representation of the communicative intent of the utterance). An
interlingual representation of some utterance should ideally represent
what was said by whom and to whom and relevant information about
where, when, why and how it was said. The representations are usually
very rich and extremely knowledge intensive. Many aspects of such
representation systems are unknown or underdeveloped.

Often, though not invariably, the lexicon of an IL representation will
be drawn from the names of nodes in an Ontology, representing classes,
events, or concepts. The syntax of the IL prescribes how these nodes
are combined into an utterance representation. An IL-based approach to
Machine Translation then specifies how a source language sentence can
be analyzed into an IL representation and how this representation can
then generate a natural language output.

This workshop will focus on these latter two aspects of the IL
approach: the syntax of the IL and the techniques used to analyze and
generate natural language. The uses of an Ontology outside of
Knowledge-based Machine Translated is a related, but slightly
different subject.

To date, such approaches have been essentially theoretical (although a
number of limited applications exist). One of the criticisms of such
approaches is that they are impractical -- requiring too much
hand-coding or too deep a knowledge-representation to be
useful. However, several examples of IL specifications are available.
For example, there is 

the Text Meaning Representation of the Mikrokosmos Knowledge-based
Machine Translation system at the Computing Research Laboratory

the IL used in ISI's GAZELLE MT project

IL representations of a Spanish text produced by the KANT system at
the Language Technologies Institute

IL representation developed for a speech-to-speech system dealing with
travel planning by the Consortium for Speech Translation Advanced
Research (C-STAR)

Interlingual approaches offer powerful semantics-based and
pragmatics-based solutions to any number of NLP problems
(disambiguation, reference resolution, interpretation of figurative
speech to name a few). This workshop will focus on methods for making
interlingual approaches tractable within specific, well-defined tasks
not only for machine translation but for a range of NLP applications.

The goal of the workshop is to stimulate interest in more cognitive
research in NLP while focusing such work on near term, practical
applications. Papers are invited on:

 - methods for developing (or extending) underlying knowledge sources,
 - techniques for processing in the face of knowledge-poor sources or
 gaps in knowledge sources, 
 - interlingual approaches to particular NLP tasks (reference
 resolution, disambiguation, interpretation of ellipsis, etc.), 
 - interlingual approaches to different NLP applications
 (MT--including speech-to-speech translation, Information
 Extraction, Summarization, NL generation, Intelligent Tutoring
 Systems, etc.). 

Since there is limited work on the application of IL approaches to NLP
currently, concept design papers are encouraged. Preference will be
given to actual research projects focusing on actual processing
problems and exploiting extant sources, but any contribution should
clearly focus on one of the topics above.

The workshop will consist of 6 30-minute presentations, each followed
by a half-hour discussion, beginning with two informal 6-minute
critical responses from reviewers followed by a short rebuttal by the
author and open discussion. Ideally, the critical responses will also
be available by the March 1 acceptance date, but in no case later
than March 31. All critiques and rebuttals received by March 13 will
be included in the proceedings. The remainder will be made available
at the workshop itself.

The Journal of Machine Translation will consider the results of the
workshop for publication in a special issue in 2001. In addition, the
contributions will be published as an NAACL workshop proceedings.

The program committee (and initial discussants) includes:

Bonnie Dorr		UMIACS-UMd
David Farwell		CRL-NMSU
Stephen Helmreich	CRL-NMSU
Eduard Hovy		ISI-USC
Kevin Knight		ISI-USC
Lori Levin		LTI-CMU
Teruko Mitamura		LTI-CMU
Keith Miller		MITRE
Sergei Nirenburg	CRL-NMSU
Mari Olsen		Microsoft
Boyan Onyshkeyvch	DOD
Martha Palmer		UPenn
Florence Reeder		MITRE
Harry Somers		UMIST
Yorick Wilks		USheffield

The workshop is sponsored in part by the Special Interest Group on
Interlinguas of the Association for Machine Translation in the
Americas. For further information about this series of workshops see:


Submission of papers:			February 4, 2000
Notification of acceptance:		March 1, 2000
Submission of Final Copies:		March 13, 2000
Critiques of Accepted Papers:		March 31, 2000
Author's Rebuttals:			April 21, 2000
Workshop:				April 30, 2000

The dates related to the preparation of a special issue of the Journal
of Machine Translation will be made public at the workshop.

Paper Requirements

Submissions must use the ACL latex style or Microsoft Word style (both
available from the ANLP-NAACL2000 Conference web page -- Paper submissions
should consist of a full paper (5000 words or less, including
references). Please send papers and submission questions to


There will be a registration fee of $50.00 per person. A banquet for
the participants and guests will be organized separately for Sunday

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