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LINGUIST List 22.3015

Tue Jul 26 2011

Calls: Language Acquisition, Psycholing, Computational Ling/USA

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

LINGUIST is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new feature: Easy Abstracts! Easy Abs is a free abstract submission and review facility designed to help conference organizers and reviewers accept and process abstracts online. Just go to: http://www.linguistlist.org/confcustom, and begin your conference customization process today! With Easy Abstracts, submission and review will be as easy as 1-2-3!
        1.     William Sakas , Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition

Message 1: Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition
Date: 26-Jul-2011
From: William Sakas <sakashunter.cuny.edu>
Subject: Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition
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Full Title: Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition
Short Title: PsychocompLA

Date: 05-Jan-2012 - 05-Jan-2012
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Contact Person: William Sakas
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.colag.cs.hunter.cuny.edu/psychocomp/

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

Call Deadline: 08-Sep-2011

Meeting Description:

Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition
Portland, Oregon, Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Collocated with: Input and Syntactic Acquisition Workshop 2012

Satellite workshops of the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of

Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation and the EU PASCAL2
Network of Excellence.

The workshop is devoted to psychologically-motivated computational models
of language acquisition – that is, models which are compatible with
research in psycholinguistics, developmental psychology and linguistics.

This is the sixth meeting of the Psychocomputational Models of Human
Language Acquisition workshop following PsychoCompLA-2004, held in Geneva,
Switzerland as part of the 20th International Conference on Computational
Linguistics (COLING-2004), PsychoCompLA-2005 as part of the 43rd Annual
Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL-2005) held in
Ann Arbor, Michigan where the workshop shared a joint session with the
Ninth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2005),
PsychoCompLA-2007 held in Nashville, Tennessee as part of the 29th meeting
of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-2007), and PsychoCompLA-2008 held
in Washington D.C., as part of the 30th meeting of the Cognitive Science
Society (CogSci-2008), and PsychoCompLA-2009 held over two days before the
31st meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-2009) in Amsterdam,

Papers and programs of previous workshops are available at:


The workshop will present research and foster discussion centered around
psychologically-motivated computational models of language acquisition,
with an emphasis on the acquisition of syntax. In recent decades there has
been a thriving research agenda that applies computational learning
techniques to emerging natural language technologies and many meetings,
conferences and workshops in which to present such research. However, there
have been only a few (but growing number of) venues in which
psychocomputational models of how humans acquire their native language(s)
are the primary focus.

Psychocomputational models of language acquisition are of particular
interest in light of recent results in developmental psychology that
suggest that very young infants are adept at detecting statistical patterns
in an audible input stream. However, how children might plausibly apply
statistical ‘machinery’ to the task of grammar acquisition, with or without
an innate language component, remains an open and important question. One
effective line of investigation is to computationally model the acquisition
process and determine interrelationships between a model and linguistic or
psycholinguistic theory, and/or correlations between a model's performance
and data from linguistic environments that children are exposed to.

Call for Papers:

Topics and Goals:

Given the collocation of the workshop with the Input and Syntactic
Acquisition workshop, submissions that present research related to the
acquisition of syntax are strongly encouraged, though submissions on the
computational modelling on any aspect of human language acquisition are

Specifically, submissions on (but not necessarily limited to) the following
topics are welcome:

- Models that address the acquisition of word-order
- Models that combine parsing and learning
- Formal learning-theoretic and grammar induction models that incorporate
psychologically plausible constraints
- Comparative surveys that critique previously reported studies
- Models that have a cross-linguistic or bilingual perspective
- Models that address learning bias in terms of innate linguistic knowledge
versus statistical regularity in the input
- Models that employ language modeling techniques from corpus linguistics
- Models that employ techniques from machine learning
- Models of language change and its effect on language acquisition or vice
- Models that employ statistical/probabilistic grammars
- Computational models that can be used to evaluate existing linguistic or
developmental theories (e.g., principles & parameters, optimality theory,
construction grammar, etc.)
- Empirical models that make use of child-directed corpora such as CHILDES

This workshop intends to bring together researchers from linguistics,
cognitive psychology, computational linguistics, other
computational/mathematical sciences and psycholinguistics working on all
areas of language acquisition. Diversity and cross-fertilization of ideas
is the central goal.

Submission Details:

Authors are invited to submit short papers of (maximally) 2 pages of
narrative plus 2 pages for data, references and other supplementary
materials. Papers should be anonymous, clearly titled and the narrative
section should be no more than 1400 words in length. Either PDF or MS Word
formats are acceptable.

Please include a cover sheet (as a separate attachment) containing the
title of your submission, your name, contact details and affiliation(s).

Submit your submission via email to Psycho.Comphunter.cuny.edu with '2012
Submission' in the subject line.

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: Thursday, September 8th
Notification of acceptance: Thursday, October 6th
Workshop date: Jan 5th, 2012

PsychoCompLA Workshop Organizers:

Alexander Clark, Royal Holloway, University of London, (alexccs.rhul.ac.uk)
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York (sakashunter.cuny.edu)

ISA Workshop Organizers:

Lisa Pearl University of California, Irvine (lpearlzuci.edu)
Jon Sprouse University of California, Irvine (jsprouseuci.edu)

Program Committee:

Afra Alishahi, Saarland University
Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam
Naomi Feldman, University of Maryland
Janet Fodor, City University of New York
Bob Frank, Yale University
Matt Goldrick, Northwestern, University
John Goldsmith, University of Chicago
Shalom Lappin, King's College London
Roger Levy, University of California, San Diego
Jeff Lidz, University of Maryland
Garrett Mitchener, College of Charleston
Colin Phillips, University of Maryland
Ed Stabler, University of California, Los Angeles
Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh
Charles Yang, University of Pennsylvania

Contact Email: Psycho.Comphunter.cuny.edu (please include 'PsychoCompLA'
in the subject line)
Website: http://www.colag.cs.hunter.cuny.edu/psychocomp/

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