LINGUIST List 11.267

Mon Feb 7 2000

Calls: Computers & Linguistics, General Linguistics

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. Susan Herring, Computers & Ling: Persistent Conversation
  2. winnie yiu, General Ling: Manchester Postgrad Conference

Message 1: Computers & Ling: Persistent Conversation

Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 01:25:37 -0600 (CST)
From: Susan Herring <>
Subject: Computers & Ling: Persistent Conversation





 Part of the Digital Documents Track of the
 Hawai'i International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS)
 Maui, Hawai'i, January 3-6, 2001


What:	Minitrack and Workshop on 'Persistent Conversation' (e.g. 
	email, MUDs, IRC, etc.)
Who:	Designers and researchers from CMC, HCI, the social sciences, 
	the humanities, etc.
Dates:	Abstract submission - April 1, 2000; Paper submission - June 15
Chairs:	Thomas Erickson, IBM T.J. Watson Research Labs (
	Susan Herring, Program in Linguistics, University of Texas at 
	Arlington (


This minitrack and workshop will bring designers and researchers 
together to explore persistent conversation, the transposition of 
ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the potentially persistent 
digital medium. The phenomena of interest include human-to-human 
interactions carried out using email, mailing lists, news groups, 
bulletin board systems, textual and graphic MUDs, chat clients, 
structured conversation systems, document annotation systems, etc. 
Computer-mediated conversations blend characteristics of oral 
conversation with those of written text: they may be synchronous or 
asynchronous; their audience may be small or vast; they may be highly 
structured or almost amorphous; etc. The persistence of such 
conversations gives them the potential to be searched, browsed, 
replayed, annotated, visualized, restructured, and recontextualized, 
thus opening the door to a variety of new uses and practices.

The particular aim of the minitrack and workshop is to bring together 
researchers who analyze existing computer-mediated conversational 
practices and sites, with designers who propose, implement, or deploy 
new types of conversational systems. By bringing together 
participants from such diverse areas as anthropology, 
computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design, 
linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and the like, we hope 
that the work of each may inform the others, suggesting new 
questions, methods, perspectives, and design approaches.


We are seeking papers that address one or both of the following two 
general areas:

1. UNDERSTANDING PRACTICE. The burgeoning popularity of the internet 
(and intranets) provides an opportunity to study and characterize new 
forms of conversational practice. Questions of interest range from 
how various features of conversations (e.g., turn-taking, topic 
organization, expression of paralinguistic information) have adapted 
in response to the digital medium, to new roles played by persistent 
conversation in domains such as education, business, and 

2. DESIGN. Digital systems do not support conversation well: it is 
difficult to converse with grace, clarity, depth and coherence over 
networks. But this need not remain the case. To this end, we welcome 
analyses of existing systems as well as designs for new systems which 
better support conversation. Also of interest are inquiries into how 
participants design their own conversations within the digital medium 
- that is, how they make use of system features to create, 
structure, and regulate their discourse.

Ideally, papers should also address the implications of their 
analysis or design for one or more of the following areas:

a) ANALYTICAL TOOLS. The effort to understand practice can benefit 
from an array of analytical tools and methods. Such tools may be 
adapted from existing disciplinary practices, or they may be 
innovated to analyze the unique properties of persistent 
conversation. One goal of this minitrack is to gain a fuller 
understanding of the kinds of insights offered by different 
analytical approaches to persistent conversation.

b) SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS. Even as the persistence of digital 
conversation suggests intriguing new applications, it also raises 
troubling issues of privacy, authenticity, and authority. At the same 
time, it has beneficial effects ranging from making a community's 
discourse more accessible to non-native speakers, to laying the 
foundations for mutual support and community in distributed groups. 
Authors are encouraged to reflect on the social implications of their 
observations, analyses, and designs.

c) HISTORICAL PARALLELS. From the constructed dialogs of Plato to 
the epistolary exchanges of the eighteenth century literati, 
persistent conversation is not without precedent. How might earlier 
practices help us understand the new practices evolving in the 
digital medium? How might they help us design new systems? What 
perspectives do they offer on the social impacts (present and future) 
of persistent conversation?


The minitrack will be preceded by a half-day workshop on Tuesday 
morning. The workshop will provide a background for the sessions and 
set the stage for a dialog between researchers and designers that 
will continue during the minitrack. The minitrack co-chairs will 
select in advance a publicly accessible CMC site, which each author 
will be asked to analyze, critique, redesign, or otherwise examine 
using their disciplinary tools and techniques before the workshop 
convenes; the workshop will include presentations and discussions of 
the participants' examinations of the site and its content.


April 1:	~300 word Abstracts due
April 15:	Feedback on abstracts
June 15:	Papers (up to 10 pages in length) due
Aug. 31:	Paper accept/conditional accept/reject and 
		reviewer feedback
Sept. 30:	Camera-ready copy due
Jan. 3-6, '01:	Conference


* Submit an abstract of your proposed paper via email to Tom 
Erickson and Susan Herring (, on 
or before April 1, 2000.
* By April 15th we'll send you feedback on the suitability of your 
abstract, and paper submission instructions.


* On the Workshop and Minitrack:
* For a look at papers from the first minitrack, see

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Message 2: General Ling: Manchester Postgrad Conference

Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 11:57:21 +0000
From: winnie yiu <>
Subject: General Ling: Manchester Postgrad Conference


 The Ninth Annual Postgraduate Linguistics Conference

 University of Manchester, UK

 March 25, 2000

Announcing the Ninth Annual Postgraduate Linguistics Conference at
the University of Manchester, to be held on Saturday, March 25, 2000.
The conference is organized by postgraduates for postgraduates, in
order to share ideas and present our research. Proceedings will
consist of up to 28 papers of 20 minutes in all areas of linguistics,
as well as a guest speaker, Prof. Andrew Spencer of the
University of Essex, who will be speaking on the morphology-syntax
interface. The proceedings will be published in the PLUM series
(Papers in Linguistics from the University of Manchester). A modest
registration fee of stlg6 is asked of all attendees to defray
expenses. We heartily encourage all research students to submit an
abstract for consideration.

Anyone interested in attending should have a look at the website for
the event at

or contact Zoe Moores on ASAP for an information
packet and registration form.

Information of Accommodation:

Deadline for registration: February 28, 2000.
NOTE: if you are interested in submitting a paper, we must
receive all abstracts NO LATER THAN February 18, 2000.

Thank you.
reply to:

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