LINGUIST List 11.1101

Mon May 15 2000

Calls: NLP:COLING-2000,General:LAGB Autumn Meeting

Editor for this issue: James Yuells <>

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


  1. Remi Zajac, NLP:COLING-2000 Workshop on Toolsets and Architectures
  2. M.Groefsema, General Linguistics:LAGB Autumn Meeting

Message 1: NLP:COLING-2000 Workshop on Toolsets and Architectures

Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 11:42:58 -0600 (MDT)
From: Remi Zajac <>
Subject: NLP:COLING-2000 Workshop on Toolsets and Architectures

Call for Papers for the

COLING-2000 Workshop on Using Toolsets and Architectures To Build NLP Systems

Centre Universitaire, Luxembourg, 5 August 2000

(see also this call at


The purpose of the workshop is to present the state-of-the-art on NLP
toolsets and workbenches that can be used to develop multilingual
and/or multi-applications NLP components and systems. Although
technical presentations of particular toolsets are of interest, we
would like to emphasize methodologies and practical experiences in
building components or full applications using an NLP
toolset. Combined demonstrations and paper presentations are strongly

Many toolsets have been developed to support the implementation of
single NLP components (taggers, parsers, generators, dictionaries) or
complete Natural Language Processing applications (Information
Extraction systems, Machine Translation systems). These tools aim at
facilitating and lowering the cost of building NLP systems. Since the
tools themselves are often complex pieces of software, they require a
significant amount of effort to be developed and maintained in the
first place. Is this effort worth the trouble? It is to be noted that
NLP toolsets have often been originally developed for implementing a
single component or application. In this case, why not build the NLP
system using a general programming language such as Lisp or Prolog?
There can be at least two answers. First, for pure efficiency issues
(speed and space), it is often preferable to build a parameterized
algorithm operating on a uniform data structure (e.g., a
phrase-structure parser). Second, it is harder, and often impossible,
to develop, debug and maintain a large NLP system directly written in
a general programming language.

It has been the experience of many users that a given toolset is quite
often unusable outside its environment: the toolset can be too
restricted in its purpose (e.g. an MT toolset that cannot be used for
building a grammar checker), too complex to use, or even too difficult
to install. There have been, in particular in the US under the Tipster
program, efforts to promote instead common architectures for a given
set of applications (primarily IR and IE in Tipster; see also the
Galaxy architecture of the DARPA Communicator project). Several
software environments have been built around this flexible concept,
which is closer to current trends in main stream software engineering.

The workshop aims at providing a picture of the current problems faced
by developers and users of toolsets, and future directions for the
development and use of NLP toolsets. We encourage reports of actual
experiences in the use of toolsets (complexity, training, learning
curve, cost, benefits, user profiles) as well as presentation of
toolsets concentrating on user issues (GUIs, methodologies, on-line
help, etc.) and application development. Demonstrations are also


Researchers and practitioners in Language Engineering, users and
developers of tools and toolsets.


Although individual tools (such as a POS taggers) have their use, they
typically need to be integrated in a complete application (e.g. an IR
system). Language Engineering issues in toolset and architectures
include (in no particular order):

 Practical experience in the use of a toolset;
 Methodological issues associated to the use of a toolset;
 Benefits and deficiencies of toolsets;
 User (linguist/programmer) training and support;
 Adaptation of a tool (or toolset) to a new kind of application;
 Adaptation of a tool to a new language;
 Integration of a tool in an application;
 Architectures and support software;
 Reuse of data resources vs. processing components;
 NLP algorithmic libraries.

Format of the Workshop

The one-day workshop will include twelve presentation periods which
will be divided into 20 minutes presentations followed by 10 minutes
reserved for exchanges. We encourage the authors to focus on the
salient points of their presentation and identify possible
controversial positions. There will be ample time set aside for
informal and panel discussions and audience participation. Please note
that workshop participants are required to register at


 21 May 2000: Submission deadline.
 11 June 2000: Notification to authors.
 24 June 2000: Final camera-ready copy.
 5 August 2000: COLING-2000 Workshop.

Submission Format 

Send submissions of no more than 6 pages conforming to the COLING
format to We prefer electronic submissions using
either PDF or Postscript. Final submissions can extend to 10 pages.

Organizing Committee 

 R�mi Zajac (Chair), CRL, New-Mexico State University, USA:
 Jan Amtrup, CRL, New-Mexico State University, USA:
 Stephan Busemann, DFKI, Saarbrucken:
 Hamish Cunningham, University of Sheffield:
 Guenther Goerz, IMMD VIII, University of Erlangen:
 Gertjan van Noord, University of Groningen:
 Fabio Pianesi, IRST, Trento:

Of Related Interest 

 The Natural Language Software Registry at 
 The Coling-2000 Web Site at

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Message 2: General Linguistics:LAGB Autumn Meeting

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:30:44 +0000
From: M.Groefsema <>
Subject: General Linguistics:LAGB Autumn Meeting


	Autumn Meeting 2000: University of Durham

	First Circular and Call for Papers

The Autumn Meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain will be
held in St. John's College, University of Durham, from September 7 - 9.
The local organizers are S.J. Hannahs <> and Maggie
Tallerman <>.

St. Johns's College where the meeting will be held is one of the peninsula
colleges of Durham, and forms part of the World Heritage Site containing
the magnificent Norman cathedral (which dates from 1093) and castle
(dating from 1072). Both are a three minute walk from the meeting venue.
The castle was formerly the seat of the Prince Bishops, who ruled the
County Palatine as a virtually independent state with its own army, courts
and coinage. In 1832 the castle became the foundation college of the
University, and can be viewed by the public in excellent guided tours. St.
John's is also a few minutes' walk from the thickly wooded banks of the
river Wear, and attractive footpaths meander round the entire peninsula.
Durham is a tiny but spectacular city with all its historic attractions
within walking distance; it also has several good museums and a large
number of traditional public houses selling a wide variety of real ales!

Accommodation: All talks will be held in St. John's College, where the
accommodation consists of single study bedrooms with washbasins and shared
bathroom facilities. Twin bedded rooms are also available if booked in

Travel: The city has very good rail and road links: for rail travellers,
Durham is on the East Coast Main Line, and is just off the A1M for those
who wish to drive. Parking facilities are available nearby, but are
extremely limited in the immediate vicinity of the meeting venue, and so
participants are not recommended to travel by car. The nearest
international airports are at Newcastle and Teesside, and are both
approximately an hour away from Durham by public transport. St. John's
College is roughly 15 minutes from the train station on foot, or a 5
minute taxi ride.

Events: The Henry Sweet Lecture 2000 on the Thursday evening will be
delivered by Professor Peter Sells (Stanford University), who will be
discussing recent developments in the Optimality Theory approach to

There will also be a Workshop on OT syntax, organized by Ad Neeleman (UCL)
and Vieri Samek-Lodovici (UCL), speakers to be announced in the second

There will be a Language Tutorial on Akkadian, given by Dr Guy Deutcher
(Cambridge University).

There will be a Wine Party on the Thursday evening, following Professor
Sells' talk.

Enquiries about the LAGB meeting should be sent to the Meetings Secretary
(address below). Full details of the programme and a booking form will be
included in the Second Circular, to be sent out in early July.

Call for Papers

Members are invited to offer papers for the Meeting; abstracts are also
accepted from non-members. The LAGB welcomes submissions on any topic in
the field of linguistics; papers are selected on their (perceived) merits,
and not according to their subject matter or assumed theoretical framework.

How and when to submit an abstract

Abstracts must be submitted on paper (not by email or by fax). SEVEN
anonymous copies of the abstract, plus ONE with name and affiliation, i.e.
CAMERA-READY, should be submitted, and should be sent in the format
outlined below to the President (address below). You must write your
address for correspondence (email or surface) on the BACK of the
camera-ready copy. (Even if several authors are named on the front, there
should be only one name and address for correspondence.)

 Papers for the programme are selected anonymously - only the President
knows the name of the authors. Where possible, authors should supply an
email address to which the committee's decision may be sent. All decisions
will be made by June 28th, and will be communicated by July 3th, so
please send an email to the President ( if you have not
received your decision by that date.
 Abstracts must arrive by June 5th. Abstracts may also be submitted now
for the meeting after the next one, but must be clearly marked as such. (In
general the abstract deadlines for the autumn and spring meetings are soon
after 1st June and 1st January respectively, so an abstract sent to reach
the President by that date will always be in time.)

Format of abstracts

Abstracts must be presented as follows: The complete abstract (i.e. the one
containing your title and your name) must be no longer than ONE A4 page
(21cm x 29.5cm) with margins of at least 2.5cm on all sides. You may use
single spacing but type must be no smaller than 12 point. If the paper is
accepted the abstract will be photocopied and inserted directly into the
collection of abstracts sent out to participants, so the presentation
should be clear and clean.
 The following layout should be considered as standard:

 (title) Optimality and the Klingon vowel shift
 (speaker) Clark Kent (
 (institution) Department of Astrology, Eastern Mars University

The normal length for papers delivered at LAGB meetings is 25 minutes (plus
15 minutes discussion). Offers of longer papers (40 minutes) will also be
considered: please explain why your paper requires more time than usual,
and whether you would accept a 25-minute slot if the committee cannot offer
more. If you request 40 minutes, please write this on each of the anonymous
 The committee will plan the programme as soon as it has selected the
successful abstracts, so please indicate on the anonymous abstracts if you
cannot present your paper on either the second or third day of the
conference (6th or 7th September). It is very difficult to reschedule papers
after the programme has been planned.

Content of abstracts

The following guidelines may be useful:
+ You should clearly describe the paper's general topic. (The topic may be
a problem of theory or analysis or set of data which have not previously
been analysed.)
+ You should describe your treatment of the topic, and how it relates to
previous work on the same topic. (When referring to previous work, it is
enough to quote "Author (Date)" without giving full bibliographical
details.) It is not acceptable simply to promise 'a solution'.
+ You should explain how you will justify your treatment, and quote crucial
evidence - you must trust the committee (and other conference attenders)
not to steal your ideas before you have presented them. If you are taking
a stand on a controversial issue, summarise the arguments which lead you to
take up this position.

Conference Bursaries

Up to 10 bursaries are available for unsalaried members of the Association
(e.g. PhD students) with preference given to those who are presenting a
paper. Applications should be sent to the President, and must be received
by the deadline for abstracts. Please state on your application: (a) date
of joining the LAGB (applicants must have been a member at least since the
date of the previous meeting); (b) whether or not you are a student; (c) if
a student, whether you receive a normal grant; (d) if not a student, your
employment situation. STUDENTS WHO ARE SUBMITTING AN ABSTRACT and who wish
to apply for funding should include all the above details WITH THEIR
ABSTRACT. The bursary normally covers a significant proportion of the
conference expenses and of travel within the UK.

Internet home page: The LAGB internet home page is now active at the
following address:
 Electronic network: Please join the LAGB electronic network which
is used for disseminating LAGB information and for consulting members
quickly. It can be subscribed to by sending the message "add lagb" to:

Future Meetings

5-7 April 2001 University of Leeds.
4-6 September 2001 University of Reading.
Spring 2002 (provisional) Edge Hill University College.

The Meetings Secretary would very much like to receive offers of future
venues, particularly from institutions which the LAGB has not previously

The LAGB committee

President Professor Andrew Spencer
	 Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex,

Honorary Secretary Professor Anna Siewierska
 Department of Linguistics, University of Lancaster, LANCASTER LA1 4YW

Membership Secretary Dr. David Willis
 Dept. of Linguistics, University of Manchester, MANCHESTER M13 9PL.

Meetings Secretary Dr. Marjolein Groefsema
 Dept. of Linguistics, University of Hertfordshire, Watford Campus,
	 ALDENHAM, Herts. WD2 8AT.

Treasurer Dr Wiebke Brockhaus
 Dept. of German, University of Manchester, MANCHESTER M13 9PL.

Assistant Secretary Dr. Gillian Ramchand
 Linacre College, Oxford University, OXFORD OX1 3JA.
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