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LINGUIST List 21.632

Sun Feb 07 2010

Calls: Computational Ling, Lang Documentation, Text/Corpus Ling/Malta

Editor for this issue: Kate Wu <katelinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Guy De Pauw, Second Workshop on African Language Technology

Message 1: Second Workshop on African Language Technology
Date: 05-Feb-2010
From: Guy De Pauw <guyaflat.org>
Subject: Second Workshop on African Language Technology
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Full Title: Second Workshop on African Language Technology
Short Title: AfLaT 2010

Date: 18-May-2010 - 18-May-2010
Location: VALLETTA, Malta
Contact Person: Guy De Pauw
Meeting Email: guyaflat.org
Web Site: http://aflat.org

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation;
Text/Corpus Linguistics

Language Family(ies): Afroasiatic; Khoisan; Niger-Congo; Nilo-Saharan

Call Deadline: 15-Feb-2010

Meeting Description:

About the Workshop
In multilingual situations, language technologies are crucial for providing
access to information and opportunities for economic development. With somewhere
between 1,000 and 2,000 different languages, Africa is a multilingual continent
par excellence and presents acute challenges for those seeking to promote and
use African languages in the areas of business development, education, research,
and relief aid. In recent times a number of African researchers and institutions
have come forward that share the common goal of developing capabilities in
language technologies. This workshop provides a forum to meet and share the
latest developments in this field. It also seeks to include linguists who
specialize in African languages and would like to leverage the tools and
approaches of computational linguistics, as well as computational linguists who
are interested in learning about the particular linguistic challenges posed by
African languages.

Call for Papers

Submission Instructions
Authors are invited to submit original work in the topic area of this workshop.

The workshop will consist of an invited talk, followed by refereed research
papers in computational linguistics. The focus will be on sub-Saharan African
languages, excluding Arabic and languages with European origins, such as
Afrikaans and African variants of English and French. We invite submissions on
any topic related to language and speech technology and African languages
including, but not limited to, the following:

- Corpora and corpus annotation
- Machine readable lexicons
- Morphological analyzers and spelling checkers
- Part of speech taggers and parsers
- Speech recognition and synthesis
- Applications such as machine translation, information extraction, information
retrieval, computer-assisted language learning and question answering
- The role of language technologies in economic development, education,
healthcare, and emergency and public services
- Documentation of endangered languages and the use of language technologies to
enhance language vitality
- The combination of language and speech technology with mobile phone technology.

Objectives of the Workshop
- Assess the state-of-the-art in the development of BLARKs for sub-Saharan
African languages
- Address issues of efficient and sufficient collection and annotation of spoken
and written language samples
- Define particular issues in machine translation, speech recognition, and other
language technology applications
- Discuss community needs in education and vitality of language and culture,
such as localization of operating systems and applications, spelling checkers,
dictionaries, computer assisted language learning and the like
- Assess the role of language technology in bridging the digital divide,
particularly in light of rapidly emerging technologies, such as mobile phones
- Strengthen the network of researchers working in the domain of African
Language Technology

Submissions should be formatted using the LREC style sheet and should not exceed
four (4) pages, including references.

The reviewing will be blind and the paper should therefore not include the
authors' names and affiliations. Submission will be electronic. Papers must be
submitted no later than 15 February, 2010 using the submission webpage:

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide
essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies,
standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in
the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this
new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee. Authors of
accepted papers will receive guidelines on how to produce camera-ready versions
of their papers for inclusion in the LREC workshop proceedings. Notification of
receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

Important Dates
Submission deadline: 15 February, 2010
Notification of acceptance: 12 March, 2010
Camera-ready papers due: 22 March, 2010
Workshop: 18 May 2010

Organizing Committee
Guy De Pauw (Workshop Chair - Contact Person)
(1) CLiPS Research Group, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen,
(2) School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 -
Nairobi, Kenya

Handré Groenewald
Centre for Text Technology (CTexT), North-West University (Potchefstroom
Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa

Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
(1) African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Rozier 44, 9000 Gent, Belgium
(2) Xhosa Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Republic of
South Africa
(3) TshwaneDJe HLT, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

Peter Waiganjo Wagacha
School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 -
00100GPO Nairobi, Kenya

Invited Speaker
Justus Roux: "Do we need linguistic knowledge for speech technology applications
in African languages?"
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