LINGUIST List 9.718

Fri May 15 1998

Calls: LAGB, Embodied Conversational Character

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>

Please do not use abbreviations or acronyms for your conference unless you explain them in your text. Many people outside your area of specialization will not recognize them. Also, if you are posting a second call for the same event, please keep the message short. Thank you for your cooperation.


  1. M.Groefsema, LAGB Autumn Meeting
  2. Scott A. Prevost, Workshop on Embodied Conversational Character

Message 1: LAGB Autumn Meeting

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 13:11:08 +0100
From: M.Groefsema <>
Subject: LAGB Autumn Meeting


 Autumn Meeting 1998: University of Luton

 First Circular and Call for Papers

The 1998 Autumn Meeting will be held from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12
September at the University of Luton, on its Park Square Campus.
The Local Organiser is Vlad Zegarac (

The conference immediately follows the Relevance Theory Workshop, which
takes place at the University of Luton from 8th to 10th September (for
further information contact:

Luton is the largest town in the county of Bedfordshire and is situated 30
miles north of London on the edge of the Chilterns. Luton is surrounded by
pleasant countryside with famous walks such as the Icknield Way. Within
easy reach of town are public parks for picnics, boating, mini-golf and
more. By the late 19th century the town had become a centre for hat and
lace manufatcure, but a century on Luton is chiefly known for its
connections with the motor vehicle industry, as home of Vauxhall Motors.
The Park Square Campus is located in the town centre, close to many pubs,
restaurants and the Arndale Shopping Centre.

The former Luton College of Higher Education was granted university status
in 1993 and underwent significant expansion (a 30 milion investment
programme has provided new teaching, learning and residential facilities
for about 15,000 students ). Part of this expansion was a new Faculty of
Humanities, including a Department of Linguistics.

Accommodation: will be in the University Halls of Residence, within 5-7
minutes walking distance from the Park Square bilding where the talks will
take place. All bedrooms are single. Each bedroom is part of a flat, which
consists of a bathroom, kitchen and five bedrooms.

Travel: The University of Luton is at the hub of national and
international travel networks. It is just off junction 10 of the M1. London
Luton Airport is ten minutes away by car, and it taks five minutes to walk
to the rail station (the Thaneslink rail network with direct trains to
London Kings Cross and to Gatwick Airport). London Heathrow Airport is 40
minutes away (by car), and London Gatwick is an hour and a half from Luton
either by car or by train.

Events: The Henry Sweet Lecture 1998 on the Thursday evening will be
delivered by Dan Sperber (CNRS, and CREA, ecole politechnique, Paris).

There will be a Workshop on Experimental Pragmatics organised by Billy
Clark (Middlesex University).

There will be a Language Tutorial on Roshani, a Pamir language of the
Eastern Iranian group of Indo-European, given by John Payne (University of

There will be a Wine Party on the Thursday evening, following
Dan Sperber's lecture.

Enquiries about the LAGB meeting should be sent to the Meetings
Secretary (address below). Full details of the programme and a
booking form will be included in the Second Circular, to be sent out
in June.

Call for Papers: Members and potential guests are invited to offer papers
for the Meeting; abstracts are also accepted from non-members. The LAGB
welcomes submissions on any linguistics or linguistics-related topic.
Abstracts must arrive by 5 June 1998 and should be sent in the format
outlined below to the following address: Professor R. Hudson, Department of
Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London, Gower Street, London,
WC1E 6BT. Papers for the programme are selected anonymously - only the
President knows the name of the authors.

Abstracts must be presented as follows: submit SEVEN anonymous copies of
the abstract, plus ONE with name and affiliation, i.e. CAMERA-READY. The
complete abstract containing your title and your name must be no longer
than ONE A4 page (21cm x 29.5cm/8.27" x 11.69") with margins of at least
2.5cm (1") on all sides. You may use single spacing and type must be no
smaller than 12 point. Type uniformly in black and make any additions in
black. Use the best quality printer you can, since if the paper is accepted
the abstract will be photocopied and inserted directly into the collection
of abstracts sent out to participants. WRITE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS FOR

The following layout should be considered as standard:

 (title) Optimality and the Klingon vowel shift
 (speaker) Clark Kent
 (institution) Department of Astrology, Eastern Mars University

The following guidelines may be useful:

1. Briefly state the topic of your paper.

2. If your paper is to involve an analysis of linguistic material,
give critical examples, along with a brief indication of their critical

3. State the relevance of your ideas to past work or to the future
development of the field. If you are taking a stand on a controversial
issue, summarise the arguments which lead you to take up this position.

The normal length for papers delivered at LAGB meetings is 25 minutes (plus
15 minutes discussion). Offers of squibs (10 minutes) or longer papers (40
minutes) will also be considered: please explain why your paper requires
less or more time than usual.

N.B. ABSTRACTS SUBMISSION DATES: These are always announced in the First
Circular for the Meeting in question. Any member who fears that they may
receive the First Circular too late to be able to submit an abstract before
the deadline specified can be assured that an abstract received by the
President by JANUARY 1 or JUNE 1 will always be considered for the next

Conference Bursaries: There will be a maximum of 10 bursaries available to
unsalaried members of the Association (e.g. PhD students) with preference
given to those who are presenting a paper. Applications should be sent to
the President, and must be received by 5 June 1998. Please state on your
application: (a) date of joining the LAGB; (b) whether or not you are an
undergraduate or postgraduate student; (c) if a student, whether you
receive a normal grant; (d) if not a student, your employment situation.
STUDENTS WHO ARE SUBMITTING AN ABSTRACT and wish to apply for funding
should include all the above details WITH THEIR ABSTRACT.

Nominations for speakers: Nominations are requested for future guest
speakers; all suggestions should be sent to the Honorary Secretary.

Changes of address: Members are reminded to notify the Membership
Secretary (address below) of changes of address. An institutional address
is preferred; bulk mailing saves postage.

Committee members:

 Professor Richard Hudson, Department of Phonetics and Linguistics,

 University College London, Gower Street, LONDON, WC1E 6BT. E-mail:

 Honorary Secretary
 Professor Anna Siewierska, Department of Linguistics, University of
 Lancaster, Bailrigg, LANCASTER LA1 4YW. E-mail:

 Membership Secretary
 Dr. Kersti Brjars, Department of Linguistics, University of
 MANCHESTER M13 9PL. E-mail:

 Meetings Secretary
 Dr. Marjolein Groefsema, Department of Linguistics, University of
 Hertfordshire, Watford Campus, ALDENHAM, Herts. WD2 8AT. E-mail:

 Dr. Paul Rowlett, Dept. of Modern Languages, University of Salford,
 SALFORD M5 4WT. E-mail:

 Assistant Secretary
 Dr. April McMahon, Dept. of Linguistics, University of Cambridge,
 Sidgwick Avenue, CAMBRIDGE CB3 9DQ. E-mail:

Internet home page: The LAGB internet home page is now active at the
following address:

Electronic network: Please join the LAGB electronic network which is used
for disseminating LAGB information and for consulting members quickly. It
can be subscribed to by sending the message "add lagb" to:

Future Meetings:

8-10 April 1999 University of Manchester.
7-9 September 1999 University of York.
Spring 2000 (provisional) University College London.
Autumn 2000 (provisional) University of Wales, Bangor.

The Meetings Secretary would very much like to receive offers of future
venues, particularly from institutions which the LAGB has not previously
visited or from places with newly established linguistics programmes.
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Message 2: Workshop on Embodied Conversational Character

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 16:40:35 PDT
From: Scott A. Prevost <>
Subject: Workshop on Embodied Conversational Character

2nd Call for Papers
 The First Workshop on Embodied
 Conversational Characters

 Granlibakken Resort & Conference Center at Lake Tahoe
 Tahoe City (North Shore)
 California, USA

 October 12-15, 1998

 With the support of AAAI
 Cooperation of ACM/SIGCHI

Recent advances in several core software technologies have made possible
a new type of human-computer interface: the conversational character.
Conversational characters are autonomous, anthropomorphic, animated
figures that have the ability to communicate through multiple
modalities, including spoken language, facial expressions, and gestures.
Unlike textual natural language interfaces, conversational characters
have the ability to perceive and produce the verbal and non-verbal
signals that identify discourse structure and regulate the flow of
information between interlocutors. Such signals include intonational
patterns, gestures, back-channel feedback signals, and turn-taking
protocols. These capabilities enable them to engage in complex
interactions with human users via natural speech rather than complex
command languages, menus or graphical manipulations.

Research on conversational characters has emerged from a number of
disciplines, including, among others, artificial intelligence,
computational linguistics, computer animation, computer vision,
psychology, cognitive science, virtual reality, CSCW, and HCI. This
diversity is naturally reflected in the broad range of active research
areas in conversational character interfaces.

The primary goal of this workshop is to advance the state of
conversational character research and development by identifying novel
approaches to the topics and issues listed below, and integrating them
into a framework for embodied, conversational human-computer
interaction. Selected contributors will be invited to expand and refine
their papers for inclusion in a book to be published by Addison-Wesley.
The aims of this book will be to introduce, define, and advance the
field; to give a snapshot of current work in it; and to suggest future
challenges and opportunities.

Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

* Multi-Modal Interaction * Autonomy
* Recognition & perception of speech, * Behavior/dialogue planning
 gesture, facial expressions, etc.
* Distribution of semantic information * Reactivity and opportunism
 across multiple modalities
* Rendering techniques * Representation
* Semantic representations for * Character individuation
 non-verbal communication
* Dialogue planning * Affect and personality
* Turn-taking and back-channel signals * User Studies
* Spoken Language Processing * Tools for character
* Discourse structure building/authoring
* Intonation * Architectures & Applications

Papers should address one or more of these topics. Demonstrations and
video presentations of working systems are strongly encouraged.


The two and a half-day workshop will include several paper sessions,
organized around emerging themes, with follow-up panel discussions. In
addition, there will be a demonstration session for authors to present
working systems.


Attendance will be limited to 35-40 people. Preference will be given to
authors whose papers have been selected for presentation at the

Submission Requirements

Paper submissions are due on June 15, 1998, and should be no longer
than 6 pages (10-12 point font). Upon acceptance, authors will be given
the opportunity to expand their papers to 8-10 pages. Electronic
submissions in Postscript or Microsoft Word formats are preferred, and
should be sent to Otherwise, send four hardcopies

 Scott Prevost
 ATTN: Embodied Conversational Characters Workshop
 FX Palo Alto Laboratory
 3400 Hillview Avenue, Bldg. 4
 Palo Alto, CA 94304
 Voice: 650/813-7701


Submissions due June 15th
Notification of acceptance August 17th
Final papers due September 14th
Workshop October 12th -15th

Workshop Organizers

Joseph W. Sullivan, FX Palo Alto Lab, USA (
Justine Cassell, MIT Media Laboratory, USA (

Workshop Program Committee

Committee Co-Chairs:
Scott Prevost, FX Palo Alto Lab, USA (
Elizabeth Churchill, FX Palo Alto Lab, USA (

Committee Members:
Elisabeth Andr, DFKI GmbH, Germany (
Gene Ball, Microsoft Research, USA (
Phil Cohen, Oregon Graduate Institute, USA (
Barbara Hayes-Roth, Stanford Univ., USA (
Kenji Mase, ATR International, Japan (
Clifford Nass, Stanford University, USA (
Mark Steedman, University of Pennsylvania, USA (
Kris Thorisson, Lego A/S, Denmark (

Demos Chair:
Timothy Bickmore, ISII Inc., USA (

Additional Information

For more information, please consult the workshop web page:
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