LINGUIST List 12.2173

Thu Sep 6 2001

Calls: Comp Ling/Netherlands, GLOW 2002/Netherlands

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. Mariet Theune, Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands: CLIN 2001
  2. Marc van Oostendorp, GLOW 2002: Amsterdam/Utrecht, the Netherlands

Message 1: Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands: CLIN 2001

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 10:55:44 +0200
From: Mariet Theune <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands: CLIN 2001

	Deadline for submission: 28 September 2001

 Twelfth CLIN Meeting
 (Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands)
 Friday, 30 November, 2001
 Department of Computer Science
 University of Twente

We are happy to announce the twelfth CLIN meeting, which 
will be hosted by the Parlevink language engineering group 
at the University of Twente. The languages of the conference 
will be Dutch and English.

The guest speaker of CLIN 2001 is

 Dr. David Traum
 University of Southern California,
 Marina del Rey (USA)

The topic of his talk will be announced later.

Researchers are invited to present papers on all aspects 
of computational linguistics (phonetics, phonology, 
morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, machine translation, 
computational lexicography, formal languages, grammar formalisms, 
information retrieval, information extraction, text mining, 
knowledge representation, parsing and generation, dialogue 
management, embodied conversational agents, corpus-oriented 
methods, etc.).

Authors should submit an abstract in English or Dutch 
(preferably by e-mail, in flat ASCII). The abstract should 

- a title 
- your name, address, affiliation, and e-mail address 
- a short outline of the paper (10-20 lines) 

You can send your abstract to: 

or, if email is not possible, to: 

CLIN 2001, 
TKI secretariat (Parlevink)
University of Twente
Department of Computer Science
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands 

Deadline for submission: 	28 September 2001. 
Notification of acceptance:	13 October 2001. 

The local organisation committee of this year's meeting consists 
of Anton Nijholt, Mariet Theune, and Charlotte Bijron.

A volume with proceedings of the eleventh CLIN meeting (held 3
November 2000, in Tilburg) will be available at this year's
meeting. We intend to produce a volume of the proceedings of 
CLIN 2001 before CLIN 2002. Papers for these proceedings will 
have to be written in English; they will be reviewed by a 
committee to be appointed in due time.

This and future information about CLIN 2001 will be made 
available via the CLIN home page:

or the CLIN 2001 home page:
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Message 2: GLOW 2002: Amsterdam/Utrecht, the Netherlands

Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 14:08:13 +0200
From: Marc van Oostendorp <>
Subject: GLOW 2002: Amsterdam/Utrecht, the Netherlands

 | GLOW 2002 |
 | Amsterdam/Utrecht, the Netherlands |
 | April 9 -11 2002 |
 | Workshops on April 7,8,12 and 13 |

The 25th edition of GLOW will be back in the town where it all started: the
colloquium will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on April 9-11,
2002 (with workshops in Utrecht on April 12 and 13). The theme of the main
session will be Linguistic Microvariation.The programme of the this GLOW
Conference will be somewhat different from previous GLOW colloquia. A first
difference concerns the fact that there will be moree phonology in the
colloquium than usual. A parallel session on phonology is planned on the
third day of the conference, in addition to the usual phonology talks in the
main session.

A second difference concerns the fact that the workshops this year are
planned for two days after the colloquium in Utrecht. The following
workshops will be organised:

- The Syntax Discourse Interface (April 12)
- Phonological Language Acquisition (April 12&13)
- Tools in Linguistic Theory (April 7&8)

Finally, we will organise a special lustrum-evening with invited speakers.
Richard Kayne, Alan Prince and Henk van Riemsdijk have accepted an
invitation to present a paper for this occasion on the evening of Wednesday,
April 10.
Also, this year the selection procedure of the papers for the colloquoium
will be slightly different from the standard procedure. We will ask external
specialists to review a number of abstracts. Each abstract will be reviewed
by at least ten linguists. The results of this procedure will give an
ordered set. The fifty abstracts that receive the highest score will be
discussed in a selection committee consisting of local organizers and
representatives of the GLOW Board in order to determine the final selection
of twenty six papers.
Given the fact that around Easter the hotel situation in Amsterdam and
Utrecht is very complicated, we advise people who intend to visit GLOW next
year to make reservations for accomodation as soon as possible. You can find
suggestions for accomodation and other practical information on our


Deadline for submisssion of abstracts, for the main session and the
workshops, is December 1.

For the main session, ten anonymous copies of the abstract plus a datasheet
providing the title of the paper, and name, affiliation, address and e-mail
address of the author should be sent to:
GLOW 2002 Selection Committee
Meertens Institute
PO Box 94264
1090 CG Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Authors of accepted abstracts will be requested to send an electronic
version of their abstract after notification of acceptance.

All abstracts (5 copies) for the workshops should be sent to:

Utrecht institute of Linguistics
Glow Workshops
[Name of the workshop]
Trans 10
3512 JK Utrecht
The Netherlands

We accept e-mail submission of abstracts for the workshops (but not for the
main session), but only as: Word (for Windows)-files, RTF-files, PDF-files.
We can not handle Mac-files!

For further information about the workshops, you can mail to; for information about the main session, mail to

- --
GLOW 2002 Call for papers - Main Session
Linguistic Microvariation

Over the years several formal devices have been proposed within generative
syntax and phonology in order to describe differences between language
systems, including parameters, ordering of rules and of constraints, and
morphological feature strength. In order to test the hypotheses implied by
these formalisms one can either compare language systems that are extremely
different in the 
relevant respect - macrovariation -, or language systems that are very
similar - microvariation -, such as closely related languages, or dialects,
sociolects or style levels ('registers') of the same language.

Microvariation poses at least three challenging questions that are central
to current research. In the first place, is there an empirical difference
between macroparametric and microparametric variation, and should such a
difference be reflected in our theory? In other words, are the differences
between similar systems not just quantitatively but also qualitatively of a
different kind than those between language families? In the second place,
which correlations can be identified between varying grammatical properties
and why do these correlations hold? In the third place, how should we
accommodate the issue of free variation or optionality?

Since the study microvariation involves languages that are similar in most
respects, it accomodates the study of which differences in one part of the
system necessarily correspond with which other differences in some other
part. Hypotheses about finely-grained parametric distinctions need the
languages in question to be parametrically similar.Phonological theory has
been traditionally involved with typological data. Arguably, popular
theories of the present and past, such as Autosegmental Phonology, Metrical
Phonology, and Optimality Theory, have been set up with typological goals in
mind. Even though some substantial work has been done on e.g. the subtle
differences in the stress systems of variants of Arabic, or between harmony
systems in the Bantu, the Turkic or the Finn-ugric language families, most
of this work has concentrated on large scale typologies of genetically
unrelated languages.Yet empirical and theoretical questions abound. One of
the formal properties of Optimality Theory, for instance, is something we
could call 'instability': very small differences in constraint ranking can
be responsible for very dramatic output differences, whereas in other cases
it seems that we might need substantial reranking in order to get two
superficially similar systems. To what extent is an instable theory such as
OT capable of handling microvariation in a satisfactory way? Is there e.g. a
good theory of constraints on vowel structure that can account for all
dialects of a language in a satisfactory way? Another question involves free
variation: how should this be accounted for - what are the properties of
models that use unranked constraints? And does free variation exist at all?
And finally, what is the locus of language variation? Given the hypothesis
Richness of the Base (which has it that there are no constraints on inputs,
so there is no substantive theory of the lexicon), we would expect all
language differences to be grammatical differences? Is this a tenable
assumption, or should some variation still be attributed to idiosyncratic
properties of the lexicon?

The explicit assumption of much syntactic research of the past ten years is
that there is a correlation between morphosyntactic and syntactic variation.
Both macroparametric variation, such as the cluster of differences between
polysynthetic languages and other language types, and microparametric
variation, such as the different positions of the finite verb in Germanic
languages, are considered to be reducible to morphosyntactic differences.
Morphosyntactic differences may involve an (abstract) difference in feature
strength or interpretability of features at the interfaces PF and LF, the
presence vs, absence of certain features, differences in the visibility of
morphosyntactic features and differences in the structure of complex morphemes.
Investigation of syntactic microvariation can be expected to shed light on a
number of central questions in syntactic research, as it allows us to
investigate the syntactic consequences of minimal morphosyntactic
differences between language varieties that have most other syntactic
properties is common.

Attested syntactic microvariation includes variation in word order, argument
drop, (optionally or obligatorily) unfilled or absent Head or Spec
positions, distribution of anaphors and pronouns, auxiliary selection,
(optional or obligatory) insertion of dummy elements, and single, multiple
or no overt realization of a morphosyntactic feature. This variation raises
the following general questions:

i. Is all syntactic microvariation reducible to morphological variation or
are there other parameters, e.g. pertaining to the size or spell out
position of moved elements, or the direction of selection, licensing and
ii. Is there evidence that syntactic microvariation can or must be the
result of different constraint rankings?

As for the line of research that seeks to reduce syntactic variation to
morphosyntactic variation, a number of more specific questions can be asked.
Which morphosyntactic features play a role in syntactic variation and how?
What is the relation between variation in inflection and variation in
syntactic position? What is the relation between variation in inflection and
the possibility or necessity to leave a syntactic position empty, as in
argument drop and ellipsis constructions? What is the relevance of covert
vs. overt realization of morphosyntactic features for syntactic variation?
Is it possible to define a notion of rich agreement as opposed to poor
agreement that is syntactically relevant, e.g. is there a relation between
feature strength and richness of agreement? Which configurations are
relevant for the checking or licensing of morphosyntactic features? Does
variation in feature specification determine the variation in the syntactic
distribution of anaphors and pronouns and if so, how?

- --
GLOW 2002 Call for papers - Workshop 1
The Syntax-Discourse Interface.
Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Issues
Utrecht - April 12
Workshop Organisor: Sergey Avrutin (UiL OTS)

Over the last several years, a significant amount of linguistic research has
been directed towards understanding the interface conditions between the
computational ("narrow syntax") system and other systems involved in
language knowledge and use. Some of linguistic phenomena that were
previously viewed as purely syntactic appear now to have a better
explanation in terms of conditions on interfaces. An important question,
then, is what syntax interfaces with. While the syntax-semantics interface
and the syntax - phonology interface have received a substantial amount of
attention, the interface between syntax and discourse is less well
understood. At the same time, the relevance of various discourse-related
phenomena for acceptability of certain linguistic structures has often been
noted (e.g. the relationship between D-linking and extraction from islands,
tense dependency, distribution of pronominals, right - and left -
dislocation, among others).

>From the psycholinguistic side, researchers have proposed that integration
of syntactic and discourse information may require additional processing
resources, and that it may be especially problematic for young children and
brain damaged (aphasic) patients. A precise theoretical model of the
interface between the two systems, thus, is needed for a better
understanding of the process of language acquisition and language

The goal of the proposed workshop, therefore, is to bring together
researchers whose work focuses on theoretical and experimental issues
concerning the syntax - discourse interface. The main questions will
include, among others, the following:

- Is there such thing as a 'linguistic level of discourse representation' as
opposed to general principles of information storage?
- If so, what is the relationship between units of syntactic and discourse
- Can discourse factors have impact on syntactic computation?
- In what way can syntactic factors (e.g. the structural position, or case
property) determine a particular discourse function?
- What are possible interface conditions between syntactic and discourse
- How do children acquire the knowledge of the interface conditions between
the two systems?
- Are there instances of selective impairment of the interface conditions
either in the course of abnormal linguistic development (SLI), or brain
damage (aphasia)?
- What kind of other psycholinguistic evidence can be brought about to
answer the above questions?

Papers focusing on both linguistic and psycholinguistic issues will receive
equal consideration and will be selected on the basis of scientific merit

- ---
GLOW 2002 Call for papers - Workshop 2
Phonological Language Acquisition
Utrecht - April 12 & 13
4th Biannual Utrecht Phonology Workshop
Workshop Organisors: Ren´┐Ż Kager and Wim Zonneveld (UiL OTS)

Specific topics for this workshop are:
- first language acquisition (1LA)
- second language acquisition (2LA)
- language acquisition under pathological conditions

Ever since Chomsky proposed the learnability criterion as a much-needed
boundary condition in order to constrain the set of possible grammars for a
language, the study of first language acquisition has been at the heart of
linguistic research and argumentation. This area has received a new impetus
with the advent of, first, parameter theory (in the 1980's) and, second,
constraint-based approaches (in the 1990's). More recently, theoretical
approaches have been applied to the other two areas mentioned above, too,
inviting questions such as: if 2LA is different from 1LA, how can these
differences be explained and formalized? In which way does the study of 2LA
contribute to the study of 1LA (for instance in the area of markedness
issues)? In which way can data from (early) pathological breakdown (aphasia,
dyslexia, etc.) help us evaluate theoretical frameworks, or competing
analyses within a framework?

Papers will be judged for inclusion in the Workshop principally on the basis
of the extent to which:
- they discuss topics from these three areas in comparison with, or in
combination with, one another;
- they are written in a coherent theoretical framework of language and
language acquisition, and contribute to the advancement of that framework;
- their claims are based on transparently presented experimental data which
test clearly presented predictions within the framework of choice; and/or
their claims are based on existing or newly available files;
- they state future perspectives in the area of investigation.

- ---
GLOW 2002 Call for papers - Workshop 3
Tools in Linguistic Theory (TiLT 2002)
Utrecht - April 13
Workshop Organisor: Eric Reuland (UiL OTS)

The intention of this workshop, as that of its precursor held in 2001, is to
bring together theoretical researchers in contemporary grammatical theory,
where the emphasis is on a strong reading of the term 'theoretical', to be
understood in its common scientific sense: researchers directly concerned
with the model itself (the `theory'). It is the goal of this workshop to
create a space for this important segment of the field to convene, exchange
ideas, and develop common foci. This has the double ambition of stimulating
theoretical research, and of helping foster a peer-community of
theoretically minded researchers. The need for such an event, and its
importance, has become abundantly clear over the last few years. The central
background factor is the stage of development of the discipline. Syntactic
theory has developed into a blooming, academically well grounded, research
community. But the discipline is still maturing, and structuring itself
accordingly. Several strong and partially independent sub-fields have
emerged, such as syntactic diachrony, acquisition of syntactic competence,
creole-syntax studies, various branches of comparative syntax, etc.

This has all been possible thanks to theoretical progress, which has created
tools with which the above communities have been able to discover - and make
sense of - a variety of deep generalizations about natural language syntax.
Two decisive breakthroughs include for instance the discovery of `X-bar'
theory in the early seventies, and the discovery of the `Principles &
Parameters theory' of syntax, in the early 80s. These theoretical advances
provided the field with two tools - parameters and articulated
phrase-structure - with which they were able to address a wealth of
phenomena previously unaccounted for, or not even

These theoretical innovations have created blooming `empirical'
sub-disciplines, but they have not yet led to the emergence of a
sub-discipline devoted to systematically craft and refine the theoretical
tools themselves. Important work in this area is conducted within the
minimalist program and theorists elaborating the commonalities between the
minimalist conception of grammar and other frameworks (such as categorial
grammar, tree adjoining grammar), but much of the work in this area is still
done in relative isolation.

On the other hand, all the conditions are set for such a sub-field to
emerge, as has been amply demonstrated by the precursor of this workshop
held in 2001. The empirical blooming of the field has led to the
availability of a solid basis of empirical generalizations (about locality,
about phrase-structure, about binding and coreference, etc.). These provide
solid ground under the feet of theoretical investigations, and it is thus
becoming possible to productively focus on the theoretical tools,
computational properties of systems, thanks to the results of prior and
ongoing empirical research.

There is also an increasing need for such an endeavor given the role
linguistics will have to play in the field of cognitive science. It is
extremely important that the results of the investigation of the
computational structure of the linguistic system can be stated in a way that
brings out as clearly as possible what can be considered real achievements,
and which issues are still under empirical investigation and debate.
Clearly, also apart from this, it is important for the health of any
discipline to have a sound core of theoretical research, both to provide the
framework on which to hang the facts, and to help digest the generalizations
which emerge from the empirical work.

Just to illustrate the kinds of questions that could arise we mention some
of the relevant discussions from the present or nearby past:
- there used to be two means in our tool chest allowing one to express word
order variations: movement and the head-parameter. This resulted in a move
to eliminate the head parameter;
- every "move" (almost) presupposed a corresponding chain. Chains could do
whatever move could do. Hence, the investigation of their relation, and
moves to eliminate the redundancy;
- c-command is a pretty complex tool; hence there are endeavors to reduce it
to simpler notions that are needed anyway (merge, sisterhood, dominance,
- we used to have two tools that looked very much alike: government and
spec-head relations. A substantial part of the beginning of minimalism stems
from the attempt to reduce one to the other;
- the contents of the tool chest of syntactic theory have been expanding
over the years; hence the proposal for a fundamental reduction on the basis
of the inclusiveness condition.

We invite papers that address fundamental issues in linguistic theory
formation, which can provide the nucleus for extensive further discussion.
The format of the workshop takes this into account. The slot for a
presentation will in principle be 90 min. We strive for optimal interaction
between speakers and audience, hence discussion during presentations will be
allowed, or even encouraged.
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