LINGUIST List 8.42

Fri Jan 17 1997

Calls: Nat lg processing, Nat lg generation

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

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  2. Cecile Paris, CFP: an ESSLLI97 PhD Workshop on Natural Language Generation


Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 15:54:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Ann Copestake <>




 ACL/EACL'97 Workshop
 Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED)
 Madrid, Spain
 July 11th or 12th, 1997

Many people have some sort of disability which impairs their ability
to communicate. Work in alternative and augmentative communication
(AAC) devices attempts to address this need. For example, people who
have speech impairments may use a text-to-speech generator, or a
system which synthesises speech based on input using an alternative
symbol system. Prosthetic devices of this sort must be usable in a
great variety of settings. They should enable the user to be a full
participant in ordinary conversations, to lead transactional
encounters and to prepare speech for more formal occasions. The
extent to which this is possible depends on a number of factors, both
physical and cognitive. The speech impairment may be due to a
physical disability which has no effect on the person's linguistic
ability, or it may be due to a cognitive, language impairment.
Often, some combination of physical and cognitive disabilities is
involved. Other communication aids include systems designed for deaf
users and text-to-speech devices for people with vision impairments.

NLP techniques are currently in use in such devices but substantial
improvement in performance is clearly possible. AAC provides the NLP
researcher with relatively tractable applications of potential
utility to millions of people worldwide. The aim of the workshop is
to provide a forum in which researchers in communication aids for
people with disabilities can discuss the problems involved in these
applications and the solutions being investigated in current
research. We also hope that researchers in all areas of CL/NLP will
participate, to discuss ways in which their own work could
contribute, even if they are not currently working on these

We seek papers which describe the utilisation of NLP in communication
aids, including AAC devices for the speech and language-impaired,
sign language interpretation and translation, and intelligent
text-readers for blind people. We would also welcome contributions
which describe the use of NLP techniques in aids for rehabilitation
and training for language impairment. Participation by NLP
researchers whose work might be applied in these areas is encouraged,
possibly including:

- statistical or symbolic techniques for word prediction (for 
 speeding input to text-to-speech devices)
- lexical resources which can be utilised for communication aids
 (e.g. for text retrieval of fixed messages)
- language generation from partial input (e.g. icons, templates,
 telegraphic text)
- aids for text comprehension
- speech synthesis geared to the needs of the blind or language impaired

These topics are intended as suggestions only: contributions would be
welcome from any researchers with an interest in applying CL/NLP
techniques to aid people with disabilities.


Papers should be previously unpublished: a paper accepted for
presentation at this workshop cannot be presented or have been
presented at any other meeting with published proceedings. Parallel
submission is allowed; however if your paper is accepted for this
workshop and you decide to present it here, we will ask you to
withdraw it from any other events.

Papers will be reviewed by the program committee, with additional
reviewers being recruited if necessary. Papers must not exceed 3200
words (excluding references). Electronic submission is strongly
preferred, either as a self-contained LaTeX file or PostScript. Hard
copy submissions should include eight copies of the paper. Final
versions of accepted papers will be required in LaTeX using a
standard submission style (to be made available via WWW/ftp). Papers
will be published in the workshop proceedings: if the papers
submitted are of a sufficiently high quality, a book may subsequently
be produced by CSLI Publications.

We welcome presentations which include system demonstrations or video
- audio-visual requirements should be described when the paper is

Since attendance at the workshop will be limited to a total of about
40 people, potential participants who do not wish to present a paper
should send a brief (max 100 word) description of interest to the
address below by April 28th. Potential participants who would like
an overview of AAC before the workshop might want to consult: McCoy
et al, 1990: `Applying Natural Language Processing techniques to
Augmentative communication systems' in proceedings of Coling-90
and Edwards (editor), 1995: `Extra-ordinary human-computer 
interaction' Cambridge University Press which contains several 
relevant papers. Also see for abstracts of
the recent workshop on NLP and communication aids for non-speaking


 Submissions due March 28th 1997
 Statements of interest due April 28th 1997
 Authors notified (by email) April 28th 1997
 Final versions due May 30th 1997


 Ann Copestake
 Ventura Hall
 Stanford University
 CA 94305-4115

 tel: +1 415 725 2312

PROGRAM COMMITTEE (partial list)

Ted Briscoe, University of Cambridge
Ann Copestake, Stanford University
Marianne Hickey, University of Dundee
Sheri Hunnicutt, KTH
Stefan Langer, University of Dundee
Kathleen McCoy, University of Delaware
Sira E. Palazuelos-Cagigas, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid


Venue, accommodation etc will be as for the main ACL/EACL conference, 
for which workshop participants will be required to register. See:

Further information about the workshop itself will be available via:
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Message 2: CFP: an ESSLLI97 PhD Workshop on Natural Language Generation

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 12:03:35 +1100
From: Cecile Paris <>
Subject: CFP: an ESSLLI97 PhD Workshop on Natural Language Generation

 Call For Papers: ESSLLI97 PhD Workshop on Natural Language Generation

		 A workshop held as part of the 

 9th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information
	 August 11-22, 1997, Aix-en-Provence, France

ORGANISERS: Cecile Paris (CSIRO, Sydney) and Robert Dale (MRI, Sydney)

Web Page:

WORKSHOP THEME: Natural Language Generation


Natural Language Generation (NLG) is coming of age: historically,
natural language analysis has received substantially more attention
from computational linguists and those working in natural language
processing, but recent years have seen the development of a robust NLG
community, with an international NLG workshop being organised every
two years, and a European workshop in the alternate years; and many
new research projects in NLP and CL include work on natural language
generation. As a consequence, there are now a significant number of
researchers working in the field, both in Europe and internationally.

One effect of this growing interest is that there is considerable
competition for limited space in the fora available for students
undertaking their PhDs to report on their progress and results, and
discuss their work with colleagues and more senior researchers. The
purpose of this workshop is to provide a forum for students
undertaking PhD research in NLG to present their results.


This workshops aims to:

 * provide a setting for PhD Students to present and discuss
 their work, in a small, friendly and constructive environment;
 * provide guidance for future research directions;
 * develop spirit of collaborative research.

CALL FOR PAPERS: We invite PhD students to submit a description of
their thesis topic, approach and results. Papers should be 5--8 pages
long. Authors are also welcome to submit a list of topics they would
like to see discussed. This will be used by the organisers to
identify issues for discussions and debates. Finally, PhD students
are invited to provide additional information about their background
and relevant experience.

DEADLINE: Papers for submission shold be received by April 30th
1997. They should be sent to

	Dr Cecile Paris

 CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences
 Locked Bag 17, North Ryde, NSW 2113

Use the above address for paper submission. Electronic submission is
also acceptable: send your submission, in PostScript form, to

If you are submitting electronically, please do this by April 28th, so
that we can ensure that your su8bmission is printable before the


Authors of papers presented at the workshop will be invited to submit,
after the workshop, written versions for a 'virtual special issue' of
WEB-SLS, the European Student Journal of Language and Speech, a
journal supported jointly by the European Speech Communication
Association (ESCA), the European Chapter of the Association for
Computational Linguistics (EACL) and the Europan Network in Language
and Speech (ELSNET). The papers will be reviewed and the best will be
published on the web as part of the journal.

WORKSHOP FORMAT: The workshop will consist of five sessions of 90 minutes
each, over 5 days. There will be two research presentations per
day and extensive time for discussions and debates. We will select
specific themes that are currently of particular interest depending on
the submissions. We intend to select up to ten students currently
working in the area.
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