LINGUIST List 32.1823

Tue May 25 2021

Calls: Comp Ling, Translation/Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 25-May-2021
From: Mirella De Sisto <>
Subject: First International Workshop Automatic Translation for Sign and Verbal Languages (AT4SVL 2021 MTSummit2021)
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Full Title: First International Workshop Automatic Translation for Sign and Verbal Languages (AT4SVL 2021 MTSummit2021)
Short Title: AT4SVL 2021

Date: 20-Aug-2021 - 20-Aug-2021
Location: Online - MTSummit2021, USA
Contact Person: Dimitar Shterionov
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Translation

Call Deadline: 18-Jun-2021

Meeting Description:

According to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) over 70 million people are deaf and communicate primarily via a sign language (SL). Currently, human interpreters are the main medium for sign-to-verbal, verbal-to-sign and sign-to-sign language translation. The availability and cost of these professionals is often a limiting factor in communication between signers and non-signers.

Machine translation (MT) is a core technique for reducing language barriers [for verbal languages]. Although MT has come a long way since its inception in the 1950s, it still has a long way to go to successfully cater to all communication needs and users. When it comes to the deaf community, MT is in its infancy.

The rapid technological and methodological advances in deep learning (DL), and in AI in general, that we have seen in the last decade, have not only improved Machine Translation, the recognition of image, video and audio signals, as well as the understanding of language, and the synthesis of life-like 3D avatars, etc., but have also led to the fusion of interdisciplinary research innovations that lays the foundation of automated translation services between sign and verbal languages.

This workshop aims to be a venue for presenting and discussing (complete, ongoing or future) research on automatic translation between sign and verbal languages.

A multifaceted task like the automated translation between sign and verbal languages requires a multidisciplinary collaboration. This one-day workshop aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, interpreters and innovators who focus on sign language linguistics, machine translation, natural language processing, interpreting of sign and verbal languages, image and video recognition (for the purpose of sign language recognition), 3D avatar and virtual signers synthesis, and other related fields, to discuss problems, challenges and opportunities for the automated translation of sign-to-verbal, verbal-to-sign and sign-to-sign communication. This workshop will facilitate the open communication between different communities and professionals with diverse backgrounds through: (i) two key-note presentations; (ii) a panel discussion; and (iii) presentations of peer-reviewed papers submitted to the workshop.

- Carmel Grehan, Centre for Deaf Studies, School of Linguistic, Speech & Communication Science, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
- Mathieu De Coster, Ghent University, Belgium
- Dimitar Shterionov, Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
- Mirella De Sisto, Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
- Aoife Brady, The ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland
- Davy Van Landuyt, European Union of the Deaf, Belgium
- Catia Cucchiarini, Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse Taalunie), The Netherlands
- Jorn Rijckaert, Vlaams GebarentaalCentrum, Belgium,
- Vincent Vandeghinste, KULeuven, Belgium / Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal, The Netherlands

Registration will be handled by the MTSummit2021 conference. (To be announced)

Call for Papers:

This workshop aims to focus on the following topics. However, submissions related to the general topic of automatic translation between sign and verbal languages that deviate from these topics are also welcome:
- Sign language linguistics
- Machine translation (with a focus on sign-to-sign, sign-to-verbal or verbal-to-sign language translation)
- Natural language processing
- Interpreting of sign and verbal languages
- Image and video recognition (for the purpose of sign language recognition)
- 3D avatar and virtual signers synthesis
- Use-cases, applications
- Usability and challenges of current methods and methodologies
- Sign language in the media
- Ethics

Submission Format:
Two types of submissions are going to be accepted for the AT4SVL workshop:
- Research, review, position and application papers
Unpublished papers that present original, completed work. The length of each paper should be at least four (4) and maximum eight (8) pages, with unlimited pages for references.
- Extended abstracts
Extended abstracts should present original, ongoing work or innovative ideas. The length of each extended abstract is four (4) pages, with unlimited pages for references.

Both papers should be formatted according to the official MT Summit 2021 style templates (PDF, LaTeX, Word).
Accepted papers and extended abstracts will be published in the MT Summit 2021 on-line proceedings and will be presented at the conference.

Submission Policy:
- Submissions must be anonymized.
- Papers and extended abstracts should be submitted using the official conference management system here.
- Work that has been or is planned to be submitted to other venues must be declared as such. Upon acceptance at AT4SVL, it must be withdrawn from the other venues.
- The review will be double-blind.

Important Dates:
- Submission deadline: 18-June-2021
- Review process: between 18-June-2021 and 10-July-2021
- Acceptance notification: 14-July-2021
- Workshop date: 20-August-2021

Contact: Dimitar Shterionov, workshop chair:

Page Updated: 25-May-2021