LINGUIST List 13.740

Tue Mar 19 2002

Calls: Speech Translation, Form & Meaning Variation

Editor for this issue: Renee Galvis <>

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


  1. Lori Levin, Call for Papers: ESSLLI workshop on recent advances in speech translation
  2. M. v.d. Noort, Call for papers

Message 1: Call for Papers: ESSLLI workshop on recent advances in speech translation

Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 23:24:37 -0500
From: Lori Levin <>
Subject: Call for Papers: ESSLLI workshop on recent advances in speech translation

 ESSLLI-2002 Workshop on

 Recent Advances in Speech Translation Systems

			 August 12-16, 2002
			 Trento, IT

 A workshop held as part of the
 14th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information
 Trento, Italy
 August 5-16, 2002



ORGANIZERS: Alon Lavie and Lori Levin (Carnegie Mellon University)
 Fabio Pianesi (ITC-irst)


Speech Translation research has made significant strides over the last
decade, with several large scale research efforts (C-STAR, Verbmobil,
SLT, NESPOLE! and others) significantly advancing the
state-of-the-art. A wide variety of different approaches to MT has
been pursued in the various research efforts, and in some cases these
have been combined in multi-engine approaches. Nevertheless, current
speech translation technology is still far away from broad commercial
application, with a basic tradeoff between quality of translation and
domain coverage. Some recent research has focused on issues of
robustness and domain-portability and on enhancing the communication
abilities using multi-modal interaction. The purpose of this workshop
will be to present the current state-of-the-art of speech translation
research and explore the current promising trends and developments.

This workshop is intended to complement the ACL-02 workshop on
Speech-to-Speech Translation, which will be held in conjunction with
ACL-02 in Philadelphia about one month earlier. Our intention is to
have deeper and more focussed presentations and discussions on several
identified key topics and issues in current speech translation
research. In support of this goal, the workshop program will be
organized around daily theme topics, taking advantage of the ESSLLI
workshop format of five daily sessions of 90 minutes each. Each daily
theme will consist of one or two long (30 minute) presentations of
research and/or position papers which explore the theme, followed by
extensive time for discussion of the main issues related to the theme.
Groups and researchers are encouraged to submit distinct papers to
both workshops. Please note that the submission deadline to this
workshop has been extended to April 15th, in order not to conflict
with the deadline of the ACL-02 workshop.

Some possible theme topics include:

- Architechture and design considerations for ST systems
- New approaches to ST systems and their components
- Domain and language portability issues for ST systems
- Improving communication robustness
- Robust Speech Recognition for ST applications (i.e, dealing with noise, 
 bandwidth and platform issues)
- Integration of ST with alternative modalities for cross-lingual communication
- Evaluation of Speech Translation - specific problems and approaches.
- Moving from prototypes to real-world systems and applications (i.e, issues 
 related to translation quality, user interfaces, speech translation on 
 small devices, etc.)


We invite both research and position paper submissions from all
researchers in the area of speech translation and related topics.
Submissions will be Electronic, in either postscript, pdf or MS word
formats. Submissions should not exceed 10 (A4 or letter) pages,
typeset in 10-12 point, with at least 2.5 cm / 1 inch margins. All
submissions will be reviewed by an international program committee.
The accepted papers will be made available in a summer school reader.

A joint volume of expanded versions of a selection of papers from both
the ACL-02 and ESSLLI-02 workshops is being planned. A joint
editorial board will be established after the workshops to select
candidate papers from those presented at the two workshops and to
consider possible publishing venues.

Submissions should be sent by Monday, April 15, 2002 to the following
email address:


 Apr 15, 2002: Deadline for submissions
 May 03, 2002: Notification of acceptance
 May 31, 2002: Final version due
 Aug 12, 2002: Start of workshop


Alon Lavie (Carnegie Mellon)
Lori Levin (Carnegie Mellon)
Fabio Pianesi (ITC-irst)
Tanja Schultz (Carnegie Mellon)
Steven Krauwer (OTS)
Yuqing Gao (IBM)
Satoshi Nakamura (ATR)
Herve Blanchon (Universite Joseph Fourier)
Marcello Federico (ITC-irst)


To obtain further information about ESSLLI-2002 please visit

This workshop is held as part of the ESSLLI-2002 summer
school. Therefore all workshop participants are required to register
for ESSLLI-2002. Registration information will be announced in due
time by the local organizers on the ESSLLI-2002 website.

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Message 2: Call for papers

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 16:01:04 +0100
From: M. v.d. Noort <>
Subject: Call for papers


PIONIER-Workshop on Variation in form versus variation in meaning
Location: University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands Date: 11-12 July

Organizers: Marco Haverkort, Helen de Hoop, Maurits van den Noort

Invited speakers:
- Arto Anttila (New York) & Vivienne Fong (Singapore)
- Manfred Krifka (Berlin)
- Tom Roeper (Amherst)
- Matthias Schlesewsky (Potsdam)

At the end of the conference there will be a forum
discussion. Invited forum participants: 
- Peter Ackema (Utrecht)
- Marian Klamer (Leiden) 
- Wietske Vonk (Nijmegen) 
- Henk Zeevat (Amsterdam)

Apart from one-to-one mappings between forms and meanings, languages
display one-to-many mappings (ambiguity), many-to-one mappings
(optionality) and weighted versions of ambiguity and optionality (that
account for preferred readings and preferred expressions,
respectively). The competition between different types of
constraints, may lead to various kinds of outcomes, including
optionality and ambiguity. Blutner (2000) and Zeevat (2000) develop an
account of these phenomena within a bidirectional optimization
theory. An alternative view is offered within the framework of Anttila
and Fong (2000) who argue that grammars are partial rather than total
orders of constraints, which can be interpreted quantitatively.

One very robust generalization in language that pops up in one form or
another in all linguistic disciplines and at all levels of
representation, is that marked forms typically have concomitant marked
meanings (e.g., Bresnan, to appear). Levinson (2000) formulates this
generalization as follows: "What is said in an abnormal way
indicates an abnormal situation, or marked messages indicate marked
situations" (Levinson 2000: 136). The pragmatic generalization that
marked forms tend to be used for marked interpretations, is accounted
for by Blutner's theory of bidirectional optimization. The
structures that compete in one direction of optimization are
constrained by the outcomes of the other direction and vice versa. A
potential problem for an approach such as Blutner's may be the
occurrence of true optionality and true ambiguity in language. For
example, De Hoop (2000, to appear) extensively argues that the
relative word order between an adverb and a direct object is truly
optional in Dutch for several classes of noun phrases, among which
those introduced by a definite article (that is, there exist two
forms). Within the appropriate contexts, both orders can be used to
refer to an anaphoric definite that is preceded by a linguistic
antecedent, and both orders can be used to refer to a non-anaphoric
definite (that is, there exist two meanings). Because definites
scramble more often than not and get an anaphoric interpretation more
often than not, we may predict, on the basis of Blutner's approach,
that the unscrambled form is the marked one which is used for the
marked meaning (the non-anaphoric meaning in the case of definites),
whereas the unmarked form (the scrambled order) is used for the
unmarked (anaphoric) reading. Although this tendency does exist, there
are many exceptions (anaphoric definites that don't scramble, as
well as non-anaphoric definites that do), as observed in De Hoop (to
appear). The main conclusion of the discussion above is that two
different word orders do not always serve to disambiguate meaning. The
generalization that a difference in forms co-occurs with a difference
in meanings, based on general economy principles in communication,
must be weakened. Different forms are not necessarily restricted to
different interpretations.

For this workshop we would like to put forward the following

a. When there is no optionality in form (or optionality decreases),
there may be ambiguity in meaning (or ambiguity increases).
b. When there is no ambiguity in meaning (or ambiguity decreases),
there may be optionality in form (or optionality increases).

The former hypothesis is quite generally accepted, we think, while the
second hypothesis (the natural counterpart of the first one) may seem
quite controversial. We cordially welcome contributions from
theoretical, descriptive and psycholinguistic perspectives that add
new insights to the above discussion. There will be room for about 10
contributed papers.

Send your abstract of 1-2 pages (preferably a PDF-file or a Word-file)
by e-mail to: 
Deadline submission of abstracts: April 5, 2002. 
Notification of acceptance: April 22, 2002.

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