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LINGUIST List 19.300

Fri Jan 25 2008

Calls: Cognitive Science,Computational Ling/Germany; General Ling/Sweden

Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz <anialinguistlist.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.    Alessandro Lenci, Distributional Lexical Semantics - ESSLLI 2008
        2.    Yair Sapir, 2nd Conference on Elfdalian

Message 1: Distributional Lexical Semantics - ESSLLI 2008
Date: 24-Jan-2008
From: Alessandro Lenci <alessandro.lenciilc.cnr.it>
Subject: Distributional Lexical Semantics - ESSLLI 2008
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Full Title: Distributional Lexical Semantics - ESSLLI 2008

Date: 04-Aug-2008 - 09-Aug-2008
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact Person: Alessandro Lenci
Meeting Email: lexsem08gmail.com
Web Site: http://wordspace.collocations.de/doku.php/data:start

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics;
Psycholinguistics; Semantics

Call Deadline: 04-Apr-2008

Meeting Description

Distributional Lexical Semantics:
Bridging the gap between semantic theory and computational simulations
Workshop at ESSLLI 2008, Hamburg, August 4-9 2008

Call for Expressions of Interest

News: Data sets available on the workshop page

Distributional Lexical Semantics:
Bridging the gap between semantic theory and computational simulations

Workshop at ESSLLI 2008, Hamburg, August 4-9 2008

Workshop Page:

ESSLLI 2008 Page:

Background and Motivation

Corpus-based distributional models (such as LSA or HAL) have been claimed to
capture interesting aspects of word meaning and provide an explanation for the
rapid acquisition of semantic knowledge by human language learners. However,
although these models have been proposed as plausible simulations of human
semantic space organization, careful and extensive empirical tests of such
claims are still lacking.

Systematic evaluations typically focus on large-scale quantitative tasks, often
more oriented towards engineering applications (see, e.g., the recent SEMEVAL
evaluation campaign) than towards the challenges posed by linguistic theory,
philosophy and cognitive science. This has resulted in a great divide between
corpus-driven computational approaches to semantics on the one hand and
theory-driven symbolic approaches on the other - a situation that is
characteristic of the linguistic and of most of the cognitive tradition.
Moreover, whereas human lexical semantic competence is obviously multi-faceted
-- ranging from free association to taxonomic judgments to relational effects --
tests of distributional models tend to focus on a single aspect (most typically
the detection of semantic similarity), and few if any models have been tuned to
tackle different facets of semantics in an integrated manner.

Our workshop purports to fill these gaps by inviting research teams and
individual scholars to test their computational models on a variety of small but
carefully designed tasks that aim to bring out linguistically and cognitively
interesting aspects of semantics (see below for details). To this effect,
annotated datasets are available on the workshop page:
Participants are encouraged to explore them and highlight interesting aspects of
their models' performance, conduct quantitative and qualitative error analysis, etc.

Tasks and Data Sets

Small annotated data sets are available on the workshop page. Participants are
invited to apply their computational models and conduct a thorough analysis of
the results. The goal is not to achieve better precision than competitors, but
to understand the strengths and weaknesses of individual models, analyze and
explain errors, etc. Theoretical discussions of the data sets from a linguistic
or cognitive perspective are also invited and will complement the empirical

Ongoing work on data set preparation can be monitored at
If you would like to participate in our discussion, please send an expression of
interest to lexsem08gmail.com.
The workshop wiki is intended to provide a forum to discuss the organization of
the tasks.

We welcome expressions of interests before the end of February 2008.
We will keep interested parties up-to-date by email.

Currently, we plan to offer the following tasks:

- concrete nouns categorization
- abstract/concrete nouns discrimination
- verb categorization

modelling free association
- correlation with free association norms

generation of salient properties of concepts
- comparison with speaker-generated features

Important Dates (tentative)

- Late January 2008: Data-sets available on Workshop website
- April 4, 2008: Paper submission deadline
- April 24, 2008: Notification
- August 4-9, 2008: Workshop in Hamburg (during the first week of ESSLLI)

Programme Committee

Marco Baroni (University of Trento) (co-organizer)
Reinhard Blutner (University of Amsterdam)
Gemma Boleda (UPF, Barcelona)
Peter Bosch (University of Osnabrueck)
Paul Buitelaar (DFKI, Saarbruecken)
John Bullinaria (University of Birmingham)
Katrin Erk (UT, Austin)
Stefan Evert (University of Osnabrueck) (co-organizer)
Patrick Hanks (Masaryk University, Brno)
Anna Korhonen (Cambridge University)
Michiel van Lambalgen (University of Amsterdam)
Alessandro Lenci (University of Pisa) (co-organizer)
Claudia Maienborn (University of Tuebingen)
Simonetta Montemagni (ILC-CNR, Pisa)
Rainer Osswald (University of Hagen)
Manfred Pinkal (University of Saarland)
Massimo Poesio (University of Trento)
Reinhard Rapp (University of Mainz)
Magnus Sahlgren (SICS, Kista)
Sabine Schulte im Walde (University of Stuttgart)
Manfred Stede (University of Potsdam)
Suzanne Stevenson (University of Toronto)
Peter Turney (NRC Canada, Ottawa)
Tim Van de Cruys (University of Groningen)
Gabriella Vigliocco (University College, London)
Chris Westbury (University of Alberta)
Message 2: 2nd Conference on Elfdalian
Date: 23-Jan-2008
From: Yair Sapir <yair.sapirmultietn.uu.se>
Subject: 2nd Conference on Elfdalian
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Full Title: 2nd Conference on Elfdalian
Short Title: COE 2

Date: 12-Jun-2008 - 14-Jun-2008
Location: Alvdalen, Sweden
Contact Person: Yair Sapir
Meeting Email: yair.sapirmultietn.uu.se
Web Site: http://www.multietn.uu.se/information/elfdalian.html

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Elfdalian (qer)

Language Family(ies): East Scandinavian

Call Deadline: 29-Feb-2008

Meeting Description

Elfdalian (autonym övdalska, Swedish älvdalska), is spoken by some three
thousand persons in the parish of Alvdalen (Älvdalen) in the northern part of
Dalecarlia (Dalarna), Sweden. This threatened linguistic variety has been
traditionally considered a Swedish dialect. However, due to the abundance of
features distinguishing it from Standard Swedish, an increasing number of
linguists advocate the recognition of Elfdalian as a separate language.

Oðer råðstemna um övdalsku, The Second Conference on Elfdalian, is due to be
held on 2008 June 12 to 14 in Alvdalen. The arrangers are Centre for Multiethnic
Research at Uppsala University, Ulum dalska (The Association for the
Preservation of Elfdalian) and The Municipality of Alvdalen.

The orientation of the conference is scientifical and likewise popular
scientifical. The purpose of the conference is to depict Elfdalian from mainly
two angles: (1) The structure of Elfdalian and (2) The revitalization and
standardization of the language.

Second Call for Papers

Please note: Deadline for abstracts postponed to February 29 2008.

Abstracts (no longer than an A4 page) should be sent to radstemnayahoo.se on
2008 February 29 at the latest (new date).

The following persons are pre-scheduled as invited speakers:

Östen Dahl (Stockholm)
Lars-Olof Delsing (Lund)
Olle Engstrand (Stockholm and Uppsala)
Leena Huss (Uppsala)
Satu Gröndahl (Uppsala)
Gösta Larsson (Alvdalen)
Björn Rehnström (Alvdalen)
and Lars Steensland (Lund).

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