LINGUIST List 8.983

Wed Jul 2 1997

Calls: Semantics, Interlinguas

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  1. landman fred, Date correction for semantics conf
  2. Stephen Helmreich, Call For papers: Workshop on Interlinguas (MT-Summit '97)

Message 1: Date correction for semantics conf

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 00:43:56 +0300 (IDT)
From: landman fred <>
Subject: Date correction for semantics conf





 DECEMBER 14-16, 1997


The Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem is organizing during the Fall semester of 1997/98 a research
project on semantics, on which a large group of visiting and local
scholars in the field of semantics will collaborate.

As part of the activities, we are organizing a three day conference on
semantics on December 14-16 (sun-tue), 1997.

Due to the special nature of the conference as part of the research
project, we will have rather more invited speakers than is usual. But
we will have space for about 7 contributed talks, for which this
notice is the call for papers.

We decided not to set a topic for the conference, but the list of
invited speakers to the conference (see below) should give an
indication of the kind of research that will be going on in the
project; papers of central interest to a cross-section of the
participants in the project may receive preferential treatment.

Send a 2 page abstract by mail or by fax (NOT by email) in a format
which is legible to the human eye without computer assistance to:

 Fred Landman
 Semantics Project
 The Institute for Advanced Studies
 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Givat Ram, 91904

 FAX: 972-2-652 3429


NOTE: the deadline is strict. We will make the decisions known
only a few days after the deadline, so as to allow participants to
make travel arrangements.

For communications contact Fred Landman by email at:
(Note: I will be at the LSA summer institute at Cornell University
during July.)

Dorit Abusch (Stuttgart)
Maria Bittner (Rutgers)
Gennaro Chierchia (Milan)
Ariel Cohen (Ben Gurion)
Edit Doron (Hebrew U)
Jonathan Ginzburg (Hebrew U)
Jeroen Groenendijk (Amsterdam)
Irene Heim (MIT) [possibly]
Pauline Jacobson (Brown)
Fred Landman (Tel Aviv)
Tanya Reinhart (Tel Aviv)
Mats Rooth (Stuttgart)
Malka Rappaport Hovav (Bar-Ilan)
Susan Rothstein (Bar-Ilan)
Lenore Shoham (Tel Aviv)
Yoad Winter (Utrecht)
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Message 2: Call For papers: Workshop on Interlinguas (MT-Summit '97)

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 17:21:59 -0600 (MDT)
From: Stephen Helmreich <>
Subject: Call For papers: Workshop on Interlinguas (MT-Summit '97)


Date:	Tuesday, October 28, 1997 (preceding the MT-Summit 97 conf)
Place:	San Diego, California

The SIG-IL of the AMTA is organizing a workshop to be held the day
before the opening of the MT-Summit 97. This workshop is a follow-on
to last year's pre-workshop on Interlinguas at AMTA-96 in Montreal.

This workshop will focus on two issues of significance that arose at
the pre-workshop: the nature of interlingual representation, and the
content of that representation.

Two clearly different understandings of interlinguas were evident at
the pre-workshop. For some, the interlingual representation is an
attempt to represent in a non-language-specific way the meaning of the
source language text. As such, its foundations lie in logical
representations of the meaning of natural language. This IL
representation is supported by a complex ontology of world-knowledge,
suitable for applying contextual information to the language data to
produce the meaning representation (definitional ontology).

The other approach seeks to populate the interlingual ontology and the
IL representation of the source language text with entities that encode
correspondences across languages. This approach can be regarded as a
generalization of the transfer approach to machine translation, except
that multilingual correspondences are encoded rather than bilingual
ones. This approach to IL representations is often supported by an
ontology with a larger set of entities (word senses) with less
internal structure, organized in a generally shallower hierarchy than
the definitional ontology (terminological ontology).

These approaches tend to differ also in acquisition modes
(hand-crafting with assistance from automatic and statistical
approaches vs. semi-automatic or statistical approaches combined with
subsequent manual cleanup). They also tend to differ in depth of
knowledge acquisition.

Important questions in this area are whether these two approaches are
antithetical or mutually supportive; what kinds of situations or 
applications are best suited for each approach; and whether these
approaches converge at some point or whether they represent
fundamentally different approaches to translation.

The second issue deals specifically with the amount of
language-specific information that must be included in the IL
representation and how it is best represented. It has been claimed
that an interlingual representation should contain no language-
specific information. Experience shows that at least some
language-specific information needs to be present in order to produce
an adequate translation--for instance, whether or not a particular
type of construction (e.g., passive) was used or whether or not a
particular type of figure of speech (metaphor, metonymy) was used in
the source language text. Other claims have been made that an
adequate translation must depend not simply on a plausible semantic
representation of the input text, but on an _interpretation_ (a
coherent explanation) of that semantic representation in terms of the
communicative purposes of the author of the text. Finally, others
have argued that some _semantic_ information (semantic information
necessary for classifier choice, the semantic information necessary to
distinguish "pork" from "pig") need not be present in the IL
representation, but can be determined during generation.

Questions surrounding this issue include whether the language-specific
information necessary can be determined in advance; whether it can be
completely represented in a non-language specific way; whether it is
possible to describe methods for deciding which information should be
discarded and which should be retained for the interlingual

Extended abstracts/position papers are invited on either of these
topics. More than one paper is acceptable from one author.
Submissions are expected to be between 3 and 8 pages in length, but
there are no actual requirements beyond being clear and concise.
Using specific systems to exemplify a position would be welcome and
even encouraged. Abstracts should be in camera ready format.

Submissions must be received by August 20, 1997. Submission may be in
printed or electronic form (LaTex, FrameMaker) and should be sent to:

Stephen Helmreich
Computing Research Laboratory
New Mexico State University
PO Box 30001/3CRL
Las Cruces, NM 88003 (USA)
phone: (505) 646-2141
fax: (505) 646-6218

Submitters will be notified by September 5 of acceptance. Accepted
abstracts will be compiled into a Technical Report/Proceedings
available at the workshop. We look for approximately 20 presentations
with a total workshop attendance of 40. Non-presenters will be
accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A registration fee of
not more than $50 is expected.

Important dates:

Submission deadline:	August 20, 1997
Notification:		September 5, 1997
Revision deadline:	October 1, 1997
Workshop:		October 28, 1997

Web site:
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