LINGUIST List 9.519

Fri Apr 3 1998

Calls: Parsing Systems, Ecology of Lang Acquisition

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

Please do not use abbreviations or acronyms for your conference unless you explain them in your text. Many people outside your area of specialization will not recognize them. Also, if you are posting a second call for the same event, please keep the message short. Thank you for your cooperation.


  2. Jonathan Leather, Ecology of Language Acquisition


Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 05:41:02 +0100
From: John Carroll <>

 Call for Participation



This workshop is part of the First International Conference on Language
Resources and Evaluation at the University of Granada, May 26th - 30th 1998
(see <>; for details and how to register).

This workshop will provide a forum for researchers interested in the
development and evaluation of natural language grammars and parsing systems,
and in the creation of syntactically annotated reference corpora.

Organisers: John Carroll, Roberto Basili, Nicoletta Calzolari,
 Robert Gaizauskas, Gregory Grefenstette


A survey of parser evaluation methods
 John Carroll, Ted Briscoe
 University of Sussex & University of Cambridge, UK

Evaluating a Robust Parser for Italian Language
 Roberto Basili, Maria Teresa Pazienza, Fabio Massimo Zanzotto
 Universita' di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

Evaluation of the syntactic analysis component of an information extraction
system for German
 Thierry Declerck, Judith Klein, Guenter Neumann
 DFKI, Saarbruecken, Germany

Chunking Italian. Linguistic and task-oriented evaluation
 Stefano Federici, Simonetta Montemagni, Vito Pirrelli
 ILC-CNR Pisa, Italy

Modifying existing annotated corpora for general comparative evaluation of
 Rob Gaizauskas, Mark Hepple, Chris Huyck 
 University of Sheffield, UK

Dependency-based evaluation of MINIPAR
 Dekang Lin
 University of Manitoba, Canada

Evaluating parses for spoken language dialogue systems
 Wolfgang Minker, Lin Chase
 LIMSI, France

Corpus-based parse pruning
 Sonja Mueller-Landmann
 IBM, Heidelberg, Germany

The TOSCA parsing system reviewed
 Nelleke Oostdijk
 Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Grammar & parser evaluation in the XTAG project
 Srinivas Bangalore, Anoop Sarkar, Christine Doran, Beth Ann Hockey
 AT&T Labs-Research & IRCS, University of Pennsylvania, USA


The aim of this workshop is to provide a forum for discussion of
evaluation methods for parsing systems, and proposals for the
development of syntactically annotated language resources.

With increased attention to evaluation of component technology in
language engineering, evaluation of parsing systems is rapidly becoming
a key issue. Numerous methods have been proposed and while one, the
Parseval/Penn Treebank scheme, has gained wide usage, this has to some
extent been due to the absence of workable alternatives rather than to
whole-hearted support. Parseval/PTB evaluation has several limitations
and drawbacks, including a commitment to a particular style of
grammatical analysis, and oversensitivity to certain innocuous types of
misanalysis while failing to penalise other common types of more serious
mistake. Also, the original published description of the scheme -- and
the evaluation software widely distributed as a follow-up to it -- is
specific to the English language. It may be that there are currently no
alternative more workable schemes or proposals, but this needs to be
more fully discussed: this workshop will provide an opportunity for such
a debate.

This workshop is particularly timely given the large number of CEC
Language Engineering projects that involve parsing in one form or
another and which need to evaluate and share the results of their
efforts. Parsing is an essential part of many larger applications, such
as Information Extraction, which have gained in importance over the last
few years. Often in such systems, the strength of the parser and
grammar has a direct effect on the desired results, and thus achieving
good results rests on being able to determine and improve weaknesses in
the parser/grammar. Without a reliable parser evaluation method this
cannot be done effectively.

A parsing evaluation workshop is also appropriate at this time given the
imminent creation of large-scale syntactically annotated resources for
European languages. Contributions from those involved in such activities
are welcomed, so as to improve communication between the resource
construction and the resource utilisation communities. This should
ensure that the resources constructed are maximally useful to the
general language engineering community.

The workshop is jointly organised by the CEC Language Engineering 1
projects SPARKLE and ECRAN


Roberto Basili Gregory Grefenstette
Ted Briscoe Mark Hepple
Nicoletta Calzolari Tony McEnery
John Carroll Maria Teresa Pazienza
Roberta Catizone Paola Velardi
Robert Gaizauskas Yorick Wilks
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Message 2: Ecology of Language Acquisition

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 13:43:34 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Jonathan Leather <>
Subject: Ecology of Language Acquisition

 international research workshop

 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
 11 - 15 January 1999

 second announcement and call for papers
 This workshop re-examines certain assumptions implicit in much language
 acquisition research to date, such as the primacy of the
 one-speaker-one-hearer interaction; a static interpretation of 'context'
 and participant roles; and the presupposition of a
 monolingual/monocultural social matrix. The focus of the meeting is
 thus the complexity of circumstances in which the language acquirer
 operates, addressed in such questions as:

 * How should discourse-analytic and anthropological descriptions of
 communicative interaction be integrated to account not only for
 'conversation', multi-party and ritual talk, but also man-machine
 interaction and forms of virtual participation in the networks of

 * How should the notion of 'shared context' be extended to capture the
 floor shifts and on-line construction of meaning that take place over
 the progress of an unfolding discourse?

 * How can theories of acquisition be made more sensitive to complex
 linguistic and sociocultural environments that are to varying degrees
 plural, mixed, and in flux?

 The intention is to bring together people and paradigms from L1 and L2
 acquisition research with the aim of exploring from an empirical base
 how the multiple contexts of language acquisition are interrelated, and
 how, with ecosystemic validity, such interrelations may be
 theoretically modelled.

 In the planning of the programme the organizers are assisted by a
 Scientific Advisory Board consisting of Eve Clark (Max Planck
 Insitute/Stanford), Claire Kramsch (Berkeley), Leo van Lier (Monterey),
 Ben Rampton (Thames Valley) and Remco Scha (Amsterdam) - all of whom
 have also agreed to contribute keynote talks.

 If you would like to propose a paper, please send in an abstract
 (maximum 300 words) by e-mail before 30 April. The address is:
 Although we are obliged to limit 'real' participation to 30 people, we
 are making provision for a form of remote partial participation via
 e-mail (with possible audio links). If you think you will be
 interested in participating in either capacity, please let us know by
 e-mail. The Workshop fee (for "live" participants) will be Dfl. 160
 (approximately US$ 75).

 The Workshop is organized by Jet van Dam, Jonathan Leather, Anne
 Bannink (Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam)
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