LINGUIST List 14.996

Thu Apr 3 2003

Calls: Lexicon & Figurative Lang, Japan

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>

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  1. A.M.Wallington, Workshop on The Lexicon and Figurative Language

Message 1: Workshop on The Lexicon and Figurative Language

Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 05:53:02 +0000
From: A.M.Wallington <>
Subject: Workshop on The Lexicon and Figurative Language

Workshop on The Lexicon and Figurative Language 

Date: 11-JUL-03 - 11-JUL-03
Location: Sapporo, Japan
Contact: Alan Wallington
Contact Email: 
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Sub-field: Computational Linguistics 
Call Deadline: 27-Apr-2003

This is a session of the following conference: 41st Annual Meeting of
the Association for Computational Linguistics

Meeting Description:

The use of figurative language, such as metaphor and metonymy, in
normal discourse poses considerable problems for treatments of
word-sense disambiguation that simply list all the possible senses of
a word. A major theme of the workshop will be to consider alternative
approaches. However, we also seek papers computationally address any
other aspects of figurative langauge. 

 Workshop on

 The Lexicon and Figurative Language

 July 11 2003, Sapporo, Japan

 Post-Conference Workshop as part of ACL 2003

 endorsed by the ACL Special Interest Group
 on the Lexicon (SIGLEX)

 Second Call for Papers

Workshop Description

The problem of word-sense disambiguation is currently one of the
central concerns of natural language processing. However, it is
becoming increasingly apparent that approaches that list the different
polysemous senses of a word without saying anything about how they
relate to each other lead to considerable problems. Novel uses of
words occur frequently and the problem is particularly acute when
figurative language is being used. Figurative language is pervasive in
normal discourse, but the source meaning of a word being used
metaphorically is often far removed from the intended, target,

One possibility is not to just list all the different senses but to
have fewer senses and employ a different mechanism for generating new
senses and treating the relations between them. The Generative Lexicon
(Pustejovsky 1995) assumes a structure to the lexicon and much richer
representations that determine how different senses combine in
context. Whilst some success has been achieved with some of the more
simple cases of metonymy, the question of how well the approach copes
with metaphor is open to debate. Furthermore, the distinction between
metonymy and metaphor is not always easy to make.

An alternative would be to treat computationally the claim from
Cognitive Linguistics that metaphor is not a matter of linguistic
expression. Instead, the meanings of many different words are best
related in terms of an underlying conceptual metaphor. However, if
metaphor is a cognitive rather than a linguistic phenomenon, and word
senses are related solely in terms of their underlying conceptual
domains, then this implies that there need be no structure
specifically in the lexicon. Instead the lexicon can be a list of
items, but metaphorical extensions of words would not be listed as a
matter of course. The list approach is compatible with WordNet
approaches, but puts the approach in conflict with that of the
generative lexicon, and so the question is raised as to how much
structure is needed in the lexicon in order to cope with figurative

We therefore have three different approaches to the lexicon and the
problems that figurative language poses for word-sense disambiguation,
and the major theme of this workshop is to explore means for tackling
these problems, particularly means that could be used in practical NLP

However, papers that computationally address other aspects of
figurative language will also be welcomed. In particular, since word
meanings do not come marked with the information that they are
metaphorical, metonymical, or not, papers that address the issue of
how to distinguish literal from non-literal language will be very
welcome, especially if this can be done automatically. Likewise, much
work on figurative language has relied on intuitions and handcrafted
relations, and in this respect research on figurative language has
lagged behind recent work in the rest of computational
linguistics. Consequently, there is an urgent need for computational
corpus studies of figurative language.

The relationship between discourse issues and figurative language,
such as the interaction of anaphora and metonymy has been addressed in
the past, but more studies are needed using other types of figurative
language such as metaphor. Indeed the issue of how metaphor and
metonymy relate to each other may benefit from computational
study. There has been some work (notably by Dan Fass and Jerry Hobbs)
on bringing them into a common computational framework, but this is
largely with the aim of coping with mixtures rather helping with the
other problems.


Please submit full papers of maximum 8 pages (including references,
figures etc). Authors should follow the main conference ACL style
format. Electronic submission only. As reviewing will be blind, the
paper should not include the authors' names and
affiliations. Furthermore, self-references that reveal the author's
identity, e.g., "We previously showed (Smith, 1991) ...", should be
avoided. Instead, use citations such as "Smith previously showed
(Smith, 1991) ...". Papers that do not conform to the requirements
above are subject to be rejected without review

Send the pdf, postscript, or MS Word form of your submission to: Alan
Wallington ( ), who will also answer any
regarding the submission.

Important Dates

 * Submission deadline for workshop papers: 27 April 2003
 * Notification of accepted papers: 19 May 2003
 * Deadline for camera ready copies: 28 May 2003
 * Workshop date: 11 July 2003

Workshop Organizers

 John Barnden School of Computer Science
 University of Birmingham
 Birmingham B15 2TT
 Sheila Glasbey School of Computer Science
 University of Birmingham
 Birmingham B15 2TT
 Mark Lee School of Computer Science
 University of Birmingham
 Birmingham B15 2TT
 Alan Wallington School of Computer Science
 University of Birmingham
 Birmingham B15 2TT

Program Committee

 * John Barnden: School of Computer Science, University of
Birmingham, UK.
 * Tony Berber Sardinha: LAEL, Catholic University of Sao Paulo,
 * Dan Fass: Gavagai Technology and School of Computing Science,
Simon Fraser University, Canada.
 * Josef van Genabith: Computer Applications Department, Dublin City
 University, Ireland.
 * Sheila Glasbey: School of Computer Science, University of
Birmingham, UK.
 * Adam Kilgarriff: Information technology Research Institute,
University of Brighton, UK.
 * Mark Lee: School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham,
 * Katja Markert: Language Technology Group, University of
Edinburgh, UK.
 * James Martin: Department of Computer Science and the Institute of
 Cognitive Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.
 * Alan Wallington: School of Computer Science, University of
Birmingham, UK.
 * Tony Veale: Department of Computer Science, University College
Dublin, Ireland.
 * Carl Vogel: Computer Science Department, Trinity College Dublin,
 * Yorick Wilks: Department of Computer Science, University of
Sheffield, UK.


For workshop registration information, please see the main ACL2003 web
site. The registration fee will
include attendance at the workshop and a copy of workshop proceedings.

Further Information

Alan Wallington
School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham,

phone: (+44)(0)121 4142795
fax: (+44) (0)121 4144281

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