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LINGUIST List 16.2968

Thu Oct 13 2005

Calls: Computational Ling/USA;General Ling/Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
        1.    Jana Sukkarieh, Natural Language and Knowledge Representation
        2.    Marika Lekakou, Syntactic Doubling in European Dialects

Message 1: Natural Language and Knowledge Representation
Date: 12-Oct-2005
From: Jana Sukkarieh <jana.sukkariehclg.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: Natural Language and Knowledge Representation

Full Title: Natural Language and Knowledge Representation
Short Title: NL-KR

Date: 11-May-2006 - 13-May-2006
Location: Melbourne Beach, Florida, USA
Contact Person: Jana Sukkarieh
Meeting Email: jana.sukkariehclg.ox.ac.uk
Web Site: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lady0641/Flairs06_NL_KR/

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

Call Deadline: 21-Nov-2005

Meeting Description:

This track is an attempt to provide a forum for discussion on Natural Language,
Knowledge Representation/Reasoning and bridge a gap between Natural Language
Processing and Knowledge Representation.


Special Track at FLAIRS 2006
Holiday Inn Melbourne Oceanfront, Melbourne Beach, FLORIDA, USA


MAIN CONFERENCE: 11-12-13 MAY 2006

Special track web page: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lady0641/Flairs06_NL_KR
Main conference web page: http://www.indiana.edu/~flairs06


We believe the Natural Language Processing (NLP) and the Knowledge
Representation (KR) communities have common goals. They are both concerned with
representing knowledge and with reasoning, since the best test for the semantic
capability of an NLP system is performing reasoning tasks. Having these two
essential common grounds, the two communities ought to have been collaborating,
to provide a well-suited representation language that covers these grounds.
However, the two communities also have difficult-to-meet concerns. Mainly, the
semantic representation (SR) should be expressive enough and should take the
information in context into account, while the KR should be equipped with a fast
reasoning process.

The main objection against an SR or a KR is that they need experts to be
understood. Non-experts communicate (usually) via a natural language (NL), and
more or less they understand each other while performing a lot of reasoning. An
essential practical value of representations is their attempt to be
transparent. This will particularly be useful when/if the system provides a
justification for a user or a knowledge engineer on its line of reasoning using
the underlying KR (i.e. without generating back to NL).

We all seem to believe that, compared to Natural Language, the existing
Knowledge Representation and reasoning systems are poor. Nevertheless, for a
long time, the KR community dismissed the idea that NL can be a KR. That's
because NL can be very ambiguous and there are syntactic and semantic processing
complexities associated with it. However, researchers in both communities have
started looking at this issue again. Possibly, it has to do with the NLP
community making some progress in terms of processing and handling ambiguity,
the KR community realising that a lot of knowledge is already 'coded' in NL and
that one should reconsider the way they handle expressivity and ambiguity.

This track is an attempt to provide a forum for discussion on this front and to
bridge a gap between NLP and KR. A KR in this track has a well-defined syntax,
semantics and a proof theory. It should be clear what authors mean by NL-like,
based on NL or benefiting from NL (if they are using one). It does not have to
be a novel representation.


For this track, we will invite submissions including, but not limited to:

a. A novel NL-like KR or building on an existing one
b. Reasoning systems that benefit from properties of NL to reason with NL
c. Semantic representation used as a KR : compromise between expressivity and
d. More Expressive KR for NL understanding (Any compromise?)
e. Any work exploring how existing representations fall short of addressing
some problems involved in modelling, manipulating or reasoning (whether
reasoning as used to get an interpretation for a certain utterance, exchange of
utterances or what utterances follow from other utterances) with NL documents
f. Representations that show how classical logics are not as efficient,
transparent, expressive or where a one-step application of an inference rule
require more (complex) steps in a classical environment and vice-versa; i.e. how
classical logics are more powerful, etc
g. Building a reasoning test collection for natural language understanding
systems: any kind of reasoning (deductive, abductive, etc); for a deductive test
suite see for e.g. deliverable 16 of the FraCas project
(http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~fracas/). Also, look at textual entailment
challenges 1 and 2 <http://www.pascal-network.org/Challenges/RTE>
h. Comparative results (on a common test suite or a common task) of different
representations or systems that reason with NL (again any kind of reasoning).
The comparison could be either for efficiency, transparency or expressivity
i. Knowledge acquisition systems or techniques that benefit from properties of
NL to acquire knowledge already 'coded' in NL
j. Automated Reasoning, Theorem Proving and KR communities views on all this


James ALLEN, University of Rochester, USA
Patrick BLACKBURN, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique, France
Johan BOS, University of Edinburgh, UK
Richard CROUCH, Palo Alto Research Centre, USA
Maarten DE RIJKE, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Anette FRANK, DFKI, Germany
Fernando GOMEZ, University of Central Florida, USA
Sanda HARABAGIU, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Jerry HOBBS, Information Sciences Institute, USA
Chung Hee HWANG, Raytheon Co., USA
Michael KOHLHASE, International University Bremen, Germany
Shalom LAPPIN, King's College, UK
Carsten LUTZ, Dresden University of Technology, Germany
Dan MOLDOVAN, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Jeff PELLETIER, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Stephen PULMAN, University of Oxford, UK
Lenhart SCHUBERT, University of Rochester, USA
John SOWA, VivoMind Intelligence, Inc., USA
Jana SUKKARIEH, University of Oxford, UK (Chair)
Geoff SUTCLIFFE, Miami University, USA
Timothy WILLIAMSON, University of Oxford, UK


John SOWA, VivoMind Intelligence, Inc., US
Title: Language Games, Natural and Artificial
Abstract: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lady0641/Flairs06_NL_KR/invited_speakers.html


Alan BUNDY, University of Edinburg, Scotland
Bob MORRIS, Nasa Ames Research Center, USA
Mehran SAHAMI, Standford University and Google, USA
Barry SMYTH, University College Dublin, Ireland


Jana Sukkarieh, University of Oxford, UK
email: J.Sukkarieh.94cantab.net


Simon Dobnik, University of Oxford, UK
email: Simon.Dobnikclg.ox.ac.uk


Submissions must arrive no later than 21 November 2005. Only electronic
submissions will be considered. Details about submission can be found on :
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~lady0641/Flairs06_NL_KR/submission_details.html Selected
papers will be considered for publication in a special journal issue of ''The
journal of Logic and Computation'' in the 2nd half of 2006.


Printed Proceedings will be published only on demand. Proceedings on CD
will be provided to all.


- Submission of papers: 21 November, 2005
- Notification of acceptance: 20 January, 2006
- Final version of the paper is due : 13 February, 2006
- Main Conference: 11-13 May 2006
- Track: max 1 day during the main conference

Those interested in running a demo please contact Jana Sukkarieh
cantab.net> or Simon Dobnik clg.ox.ac.uk>.
Message 2: Syntactic Doubling in European Dialects
Date: 12-Oct-2005
From: Marika Lekakou <marika.lekakoumeertens.knaw.nl>
Subject: Syntactic Doubling in European Dialects

Full Title: Syntactic Doubling in European Dialects

Date: 16-Mar-2006 - 18-Mar-2006
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact Person: Sjef Barbiers
Meeting Email: edisynmeertens.knaw.nl

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2005

Meeting Description:

At the launch of the ESF funded research programme European Dialect Syntax
(Edisyn), the Meertens Institute is happy to announce a workshop on syntactic
doubling phenomena in European dialects. The Edisyn research programme and the
workshop aim at achieving two goals. One is to establish a European network of
(dialect) syntacticians that use similar standards with respect to methodology
of data collection, data storage and annotation, data retrieval and cartography.
The second goal is to use this network to compile an extensive list of so-called
doubling phenomena from European languages/dialects and to study them as a
coherent object. Cross-linguistic comparison of doubling phenomena will enable
us to test or formulate new hypotheses about natural language and language

Karen Corrigan (University of Newcastle)
Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (Catholic University Brussels)
Elvira Glaser (University of Zurich)
Anders Holmberg (University of Newcastle)
Marjo van Koppen (Utrecht University)
Bernd Kortmann (University of Freiburg)
Rita Manzini (University of Florence)
Cecilia Poletto (University of Venice)
Gemma Rigau (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Øystein Vangsnes (University of Tromsø)

Recent research on Dutch dialects (SAND project) has revealed a wealth of
doubling phenomena that do not appear in the standard language. See for instance
the cases in (1) - (7) below.

(1) Subject pronoun doubling and subject agreement doubling:
Ze peiz-n da-n ze ziender rijker zij-n.
they think-3PL that-3PL they they richer are-3PL
'They think that they are richer.'

(2) Wh-word doubling:
Wel denkst wel ik in de stad ontmoet heb.
who think-2PL who I in the city met have
'Who do you think I met in the city?'

(3) Participial morphology doubling:
Zol hee dat edane hemmn e kund.
would he that done-PART have could-PART
'Could he have done that?'

(4) Auxiliary doubling:
K-em da gezegd gehad.
I-have that said-PART had-PART
'I have said that.'

(5) Verb doubling:
Doe het brood eve snije.
do the bread particle cut
'Please cut the bread.'

(6) Negative concord:
't en danst-ij niemand nie.
it neg dances-it nobody not 'Nobody is dancing.'

(7) Indefinite determiner doubling:
Zoo-n ding een ha ik ze leve nie gezie.
such-a thing one have I his life never seen
'I have never seen such a thing.'

Since most of these phenomena primarily occur in non-standard varieties, their
existence, as well as their importance, has gone largely unnoticed in the
linguistic literature. Doubling structures are interesting from a theoretical
perspective, as they contain a semantically superfluous element. This provides
an opportunity to study pure syntax and we can expect answers in at least two areas:

1. Doubling can give us important clues about the structure of language. If
indeed doubling constructions contain elements that make no semantic
contribution, then the question is raised of why language would make use of such
redundancy. One could perhaps argue that doubling is a meaningful tool, used to
facilitate communication or put focus on some constituent within the clause. At
this point, it is unclear to what extent these explanations are valid. They at
least do not shed instant light on another general issue: the doubling phenomena
illustrated above occur far more pervasively in the Dutch dialects than in the
standard variety. Any theory on variation should be able to deal with such
qualitative and quantitative differences. More data are required in order to
ascertain whether and where such differences are attested. It is an open
question whether some level of unification of doubling phenomena can be established.

The general questions raised above easily lead to precise ones, as soon as a
particular framework is adopted. Within a generative approach, for instance,
doubling phenomena have significant consequences for the way we look at
syntactic dependencies. A relevant question is whether doubling involves the
spell-out of intermediate copies of a movement chain or reveals the existence of
generalized spec-head configurations. Hence, the proposed research enables us to
test central hypotheses about syntactic theories and formulate new ones.
Different frameworks may well provide different parts of the puzzle.

2. Research on doubling phenomena is likely to contribute to our understanding
of syntactic variation. It helps us to define what is known as micro-variation,
i.e. the variation between closely related languages. It has for instance been
suggested that doubling structures are underlyingly identical to their
non-doubling counterparts, and that the only difference is that more is spelled
out. If so, doubling is basically a phonological procedure. This reasoning may
well extend to other dialectal phenomena. One is word order in Germanic verb
clusters, where one could claim that dialects/languages do not differ in the
underlying syntactic structure of the cluster, but only in the way they spell
out the order of the verbs. In order to formulate hypotheses of this kind we
need to know how extensive the doubling phenomenon is and what the boundaries
are. Are there any limitations as to what kind of categories doubling can
target? If so, how do we explain these limitations? These answers will
eventually not only contribute towards the characterization of micro-variation
but will in turn have implications on how we look at meso-variation (e.g. OV vs.
VO order) and macro-variation (e.g. polysynthetic vs. non-polysynthetic languages).

We invite contributions that (a) enrich the inventory of doubling phenonema from
European dialects and/or (b) address any of the aforementioned questions or
related issues. Scholars who are planning to set up a dialect syntax project in
one of the European countries are particularly encouraged to submit. We offer
partial reimbursement.

Submissions are limited to 1 singly authored and 1 jointly authored abstract per
author. Abstracts should be anonymous and not exceed 2 pages including figures,
examples and references, with 1-inch margins and in fonts no smaller than
12-point. Please send your abstract as an attachment by e-mail to
edisynmeertens.knaw.nl. Acceptable formats for attachments are MS Word and PDF.
The following information should be included in the body of the message: name of
author(s), affiliation, title of the paper, postal address, e-mail address.

Presentations are allotted 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. We plan to
publish a volume or special journal edition including selected papers presented
during the workshop.



Sjef Barbiers
Hans Bennis
Margreet van der Ham
Olaf Koeneman
Marika Lekakou

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