LINGUIST List 12.459

Tue Feb 20 2001

Calls: Open-Domain Question Answering, Endangered Lang

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. Priscilla Rasmussen, Open-Domain Question Answering (ACL-2001)
  2. Matti Miestamo, Endangered Languages

Message 1: Open-Domain Question Answering (ACL-2001)

Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 15:25:07 EST
From: Priscilla Rasmussen <>
Subject: Open-Domain Question Answering (ACL-2001)

ACL'2001 Conference
Toulouse, France
July 7, 2001

Open-domain question answering (QA) represents a new challenge to both
commercial applications and academic research. When users have specific
questions, such as "What countries did Clinton visit in 1999?" or "How much
does a ThinkPad cost?", they would like to see one (or a few) succint
answer(s). This workshop will focus on technical issues that directly apply
to this challenge, in particular, theoretical and pragmatic issues involved
in the creation, evaluation and implementation of QA techniques. We
concentrate on QA that is automatic and either domain independent or
working within a large open domain, such as news or technical support.

To accommodate this need for automatically finding answers to open-domain
questions, several different fields of research come together - information
retrieval, natural-language processing and knowledge representation. This
workshop will provide a forum for discussions of QA as the combination and
integration of techniques from these three fields. We invite papers that
deal with QA topics or components in one or more of these fields, such as
answer identification using passage retrieval techniques, linguisitc
analysis of questions to determine their focus, parse-based matching of
questions and answers, text generation as used for formulating answers,
deriving answers from knowledge bases, defining confidence measures for
answers, etc. Other QA issues of interest are evaluation methods, user
interface issues and user studies, integration of QA within larger systems,
and commercial applications of QA.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
 - parsing of natural language used in analyzing questions and answers
 - semantic analysis and categorization of questions and answers
 - lexical resources and knowledge bases as used in QA
 - knowledge acquisition and information extraction used in QA
 - empirical methods for QA
 - methods for answer selection, synthesis and generation
 - definitions of answer correctness and answer justification
 - commercial applications for QA
 - integration of QA in dialog systems and search systems

All papers should specifically focus on question answering.

Yael Ravin, T .J. Watson Research Center, IBM, USA
John Prager, T .J. Watson Research Center, IBM, USA
Sanda Harabagiu, Southern Methodits University, USA

Jamie Callan, CMU
Jaime Carbonell, CMU
Donna Harman, NIST
Graeme Hirst, Toronto
Jerry Hobbs, SRI
Christian Jacquemin, LIMSI
Liz Liddy, Syracuse
Marc Light, MITRE
Dekang Lin, Alberta
Steve Maiorano, AAT
Dan Moldovan, SMU
Dragomir Radev, Michigan
Tomek Strzalkowski, SUNY Albany
Ellen Voorhees, NIST

Workshop paper submissions April 8, 2001
Notification of acceptance April 30, 2001
Deadline for camera-ready papers May 13, 2001

Workshop date July 7, 2001

Submissions must be in English, no more than 8 pages long, and in the
two-column format prescribed by ACL'2001. Please see for the detailed guidelines.
Submissions should be sent electronically in either Word, pdf, or
postscript format (only) no later than April 8, 2001 to:

Yael Ravin
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Message 2: Endangered Languages

Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 17:49:57 +0200 (EET)
From: Matti Miestamo <>
Subject: Endangered Languages


The Linguistic Association of Finland is organizing a symposium on


to be held at the University of Helsinki, August 29 - September 1, 2001. 

The symposium will bring together linguists interested in questions relating to
endangered languages. We invite papers addressing general linguistic questions
as well as papers taking the viewpoint of one (or more) particular language(s).
Themes include documentation of endangered languages, standardization of
language corpora, and the possible effects of endangerment on the grammar of a
language. Other topics relating to language endangerment are also welcome.

Invited speakers:

David Harrison (University of Pennsylvania), Nomads on the internet: 
Documentation, endangered languages and technologies 

William McGregor (Aarhus Universitet), Structural changes in language 
shift/obsolescence: a Kimberley (Australia) perspective

Marja-Liisa Olthuis (S�mi Assizes, Finland): The Inarisaami language as an
endangered language

Tapani Salminen (University of Helsinki), Linguists and language endangerment
in north-western Siberia

Stephen A. Wurm (The Australian National University), Languages of the
world and language endangerment


Lectures by invited speakers 
Presentations by participants (20 min + 10 min for discussion) 
Demonstrations by participants 


The deadline for submission of abstracts (in English; max 500 words) is March
30, 2001. Please submit your abstract by e-mail to the following address
<>. The abstract should be included in the body 
of the message. Participants will be notified about acceptance by April 20, 
The accepted abstracts will be published on the webpage of the symposium


The participants are also encouraged to give demonstrations of their projects
(research, revitalization, documentation etc). If you are interested in 
giving a demonstration, please contact the organizers at


The deadline for registration for all participants is June 21, 2001. Register
by(SKY)/Symposium. For participants coming from abroad we recommend
payment in cash upon arrival. However, it is possible to pay via Eurogiro or 
SWIFT to our account (number 800013-1424850) with Leonia Bank plc, Helsinki,
Finland. SWIFT-address: PSPBFIHH; Telex 121 698 pgiro sf


The organizers will provide a list of hotels later. 

For further information, please contact <> or
visit our homepage

The organizing committee:

Marja-Liisa Helasvuo, Langnet Graduate School, P.O. Box 4, FIN-00014 University
of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: <>

Seppo Kittil�, Dept of General Linguistics, H�meenkatu 2 A 7-8, FIN-20014
University of Turku, e-mail: <>

Leena Kolehmainen, Dept of German, P.O. Box 4, FIN-00014 University of
Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: <>

Matti Miestamo, Dept of General Linguistics, P.O. Box 4, FIN-00014
University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: <>

Krista Ojutkangas, Dept of Finnish Language and General Linguistics, Fennicum,
FIN-200014 University of Turku, Finland, e-mail <> 

Esa Penttil�, Dept of English, University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101
Joensuu, e-mail <>

Pirkko Suihkonen, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
Department of Linguistics, Inselstrasse 22, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany,
e-mail <>
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