LINGUIST List 27.1698

Tue Apr 12 2016

Calls: Cog Sci, Computational Ling, Lang Acq/Germany

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 12-Apr-2016
From: Aline Villavicencio <>
Subject: ACL 2016 Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: ACL 2016 Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning
Short Title: CogACLL 2016

Date: 11-Aug-2016 - 11-Aug-2016
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Alessandro Lenci
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

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

Call Deadline: 08-May-2016

Meeting Description:

The human ability to acquire and process language has long attracted interest and generated much debate due to the apparent ease with which such a complex and dynamic system is learnt and used on the face of ambiguity, noise and uncertainty. This subject raises many questions ranging from the nature vs. nurture debate of how much needs to be innate and how much needs to be learned for acquisition to be successful, to the mechanisms involved in this process (general vs specific) and their representations in the human brain. There are also developmental issues related to the different stages consistently found during acquisition (e.g. one word vs. two words) and possible organizations of this knowledge. These have been discussed in the context of first and second language acquisition and bilingualism, with crosslinguistic studies shedding light on the influence of the language and the environment.

The past decades have seen a massive expansion in the application of statistical and machine learning methods to natural language processing (NLP). This work has yielded impressive results in numerous speech and language processing tasks, including e.g. speech recognition, morphological analysis, parsing, lexical acquisition, semantic interpretation, and dialogue management. The good results have generally been viewed as engineering achievements. Recently researchers have begun to investigate the relevance of computational learning methods for research on human language acquisition and change.

The use of computational modeling is a relatively recent trend boosted by advances in machine learning techniques, and the availability of resources like corpora of child and child-directed sentences, and data from psycholinguistic tasks by normal and pathological groups. Many of the existing computational models attempt to study language tasks under cognitively plausible criteria (such as memory and processing limitations that humans face), and to explain the developmental stages observed in the acquisition and evolution of the language abilities. In doing so, computational modeling provides insight into the plausible mechanisms involved in human language processes, and inspires the development of better language models and techniques. These investigations are very important since if computational techniques can be used to improve our understanding of human language acquisition and change, these will not only benefit cognitive sciences in general but will reflect back to NLP and place us in a better position to develop useful language models.

Success in this type of research requires close collaboration between the NLP, linguistics, psychology and cognitive science communities. The workshop is targeted at anyone interested in the relevance of computational techniques for understanding first, second and bilingual language acquisition and language change in normal and clinical conditions.

Workshop Organizers and Contact

Anna Korhonen (University of Cambridge, UK)
Alessandro Lenci (University of Pisa, Italy)
Brian Murphy (Queen's University Belfast, UK)
Thierry Poibeau (LATTICE-CNRS, France)
Aline Villavicencio (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)

2nd Call for Papers:

Deadline for Long and Short Paper Submissions: May 8, 2016 (11:59pm GMT -12)
Deadline for System Demonstrations: May 29, 2016 (11:59pm GMT -12)

Invited Talk - Robert Berwick (MIT, USA) - Why Take a Chance?

This workshop is endorsed by SIGNLL, the Special Interest Group on Natural Language Learning of the Association for
Computational Linguistics.

The workshop is targeted at anyone interested in the relevance of computational
techniques for understanding first, second and bilingual language acquisition and language change in normal and
clinical conditions. Long and short papers are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

- Computational learning theory and analysis of language learning and organization
- Computational models of first, second and bilingual language acquisition
- Computational models of language changes in clinical conditions
- Computational models and analysis of factors that influence language acquisition and use in different age groups and cultures
- Computational models of various aspects of language and their interaction effect in acquisition, processing and change
- Computational models of the evolution of language
- Data resources and tools for investigating computational models of human language processes
- Empirical and theoretical comparisons of the learning environment and its impact on language processes
- Cognitively oriented Bayesian models of language processes
- Computational methods for acquiring various linguistic information (related to e.g. speech, morphology, lexicon, syntax,
semantics, and discourse) and their relevance to research on human language acquisition
- Investigations and comparisons of supervised, unsupervised and weakly-supervised methods for learning (e.g. machine
learning, statistical, symbolic, biologically-inspired, active learning, various hybrid models) from a cognitive perspective


We invite three different submission modalities:

- Regular long papers (8 content pages + 1 page for references)
- Regular short papers (4 content pages + 1 page for references)
- System demonstration (2 pages)

Important Dates:

May 8, 2016: Long and Short Paper submission deadline
May 29, 2016: System Demonstrations submission deadline
June 5, 2016: Notification of acceptance
June 22, 2016: Camera-ready deadline
August 11, 2016: Workshop

For any inquiries regarding the workshop please send an email to

Page Updated: 12-Apr-2016