LINGUIST List 26.5074

Thu Nov 12 2015

Calls: Cog Sci, Comp Ling, Lang Acq, Neuroling, Psycholing, Semantics/Italy

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 12-Nov-2015
From: Alessandro Panunzi <>
Subject: MODELACT Conference on Action, Language and Cognition
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Full Title: MODELACT Conference on Action, Language and Cognition

Date: 06-Jun-2016 - 07-Jun-2016
Location: Roma, Italy
Contact Person: Alessandro Panunzi
Meeting Email:
Web Site:

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

Call Deadline: 15-Feb-2016

Meeting Description:

In the last decade the relations between language, action, and cognition have been investigated from a wide range of perspectives, including semantics, neurosciences, psychology, philosophy, computational linguistics, and robotics.

As a matter of fact, action verbs bear the basic information that should be understood in order to make sense of everyday sentences, but their lexical encoding remarkably differ from language to language. For this reason, both the semantic disambiguation and the mutual translation of action verbs in natural languages are problematic.

In language acquisition (and specifically for sign languages, which rely on a visual-gestural modality) the link between the conceptualization of actions and their physical performance through the body become crucial, since gestures anticipate linguistic behaviors in the early stages of child development.

From another point of view, the processing of action related sentences involves the activation of the motor system in the brain, leading to an embodied representations of the the linguistic meaning. More in general, neuroscientists investigated the systems which underlie both language and sensorimotor faculties, and developed models in which linguistic, cognitive and motor abilities strictly interact.

Researches on recognition, categorization, and execution of actions have also been exploited in the field of robotics, in order to conceive artificial systems that can understand instructions and perform actions in accordance to a human-centered model. These researches have been often carried out in connection to computer vision tasks, which turn
out to be essential for action recognition and for anchoring words (referring to the objects implied in the actions) to the real word entities.

In recent years, several important European projects and initiatives have been developed in order explore the connections among actions, cognition, and linguistic abilities, with a particular attention to robotics and automatic systems (Poeticon++, Robot-Era, THE Hand Embodied, ACat).

Among them, the MODELACT Project (based on the IMAGACT linguistic ontology of action) aims to identify how cognitive and linguistic action categories are defined in humans, and to develop models that can be used to take account of these facts. The project board promotes the MODELACT Conference on ''Action, Language and Cognition''
(to be held in Rome on 6-7 June 2016), which intends to represent a meeting point for the widening community that is concerned with the above-mentioned research topics and fields.

Organizing and Programme Committee:

- Alessandro Panunzi (Università di Firenze)
- Monica Malvezzi (Università di Siena)
- Irene Russo (ILC-CNR Pisa)
- Elena Tomasuolo (ISTC-CNR Roma)

Scientific Committee:

- Olga Capirci (ISTC-CNR Roma)
- Maria Cristina Caselli (ISTC-CNR Roma)
- Monica Monachini (ILC-CNR Pisa)
- Massimo Moneglia (Università di Firenze)
- Alberto Peruzzi (Università di Firenze)
- Domenico Prattichizzo (Università di Siena)
- Marco Tettamanti (Ospedale San Raffaele)
- Virginia Volterra (ISTC-CNR Roma)
- Silvano Zipoli Caiani (Università di Firenze)

Call for Papers:

The Organizing and Programme Committee of the MODELACT Conference on Language, Action and Cognition invites submissions for both talk and poster contributions. Abstracts should be written in English (recommended) or Italian, and should not exceed 1000 words including title, main text and references.

Please send your proposals as anonymous documents in txt, doc, or pdf format, attached to an email containing your personal information (name, surname, and affiliation), specifying the main topics of interest (maximum 2 topics; see the list below) and if your proposal is intended as a talk or as a poster contribution (the programme committee reserves the right to change the type of the presentation).

The attendance to the Conference is free of charge, but participants are limited in number (registration required). Please send a registration confirmation to the email address specified below.

For submissions, registrations, and information about the conference, please write to:

Topics of Interest:

- Semantics of action
- Action categorization in language and cognition
- Action verbs in multilingualism and translation
- Language typology and action verb lexical encoding
- Acquisition of action-related lexicon in spoken and sign languages
- Representation of action in sign languages
- Embodied / grounded cognition of action
- Action and language in the brain
- Action processing and motor representation
- Action verbs and natural language processing
- Automatic processing of visual and linguistic information related to action
- Linguistic and visual bases of knowledge for the representation of action
- Action recognition and motor skills in artificial systems
- Tools, affordances, and gestures in language and cognition
- Action and motion verbs in figurative language
- Abstract concepts representation
- Actions and tools in novel concept formation

Page Updated: 12-Nov-2015