LINGUIST List 9.771

Fri May 22 1998

Calls: LASSO, Machine Translation

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

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. Garland D Bills, LASSO
  2. Steven Krauwer, MT Special Issue on SLT: REMINDER

Message 1: LASSO

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 09:02:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Garland D Bills <>
Subject: LASSO

	 Call for Papers
	27th Annual Meeting of the
 Linguistic Association of the Southwest
(meeting jointly with WECOL, Western Conference on Linguistics)

	October 9-11, 1998
	Arizona State University
	Tempe, Arizona

Invited Speaker: Jane H. Hill (U of Arizona)
Presidential Address: Robert D. King (U of Texas-Austin)

Proposals for papers in any area of linguistics will be considered. For
the 1998 meeting at Arizona State University, submissions regarding
languages of the Southwest are particularly encouraged. We also especially
solicit graduate student papers, which may be submitted following the
meeting for consideration for the Helmut Esau Prize, a $250 cash award
made annually by LASSO.

Presentation time for papers will be limited to twenty minutes plus ten
minutes for discussion.

acceptance of papers will be sent out by August 1, 1998. Only one abstract
as single author and a second as co- author will be accepted from any

Abstracts must be no longer than one page (maximum of 250 words) and
should summarize the main points of the paper and explain relevant aspects
of the data, methodology, and argumentation employed. Keep use of special
font items (e.g. phonetic symbols, diacritic marks, branching diagrams,
logical notation) to a bare minimum. Abstracts of accepted papers will be
published exactly as received in a booklet for distribution at the
meeting. At the beginning of your abstract place the paper title, and at
the end of an e-mailed abstract (or on a separate page of a mailed
abstract) repeat the title along with your name, affiliation, mailing
address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

It is strongly preferred that abstracts be submitted by e-mail. Send to:
In the absence of e-mail, or if your abstract contains any special
symbols, send one hard copy of the abstract with a diskette (labeled for
operating system and word processing program) to:
	Jill Brody
	Department of Geography & Anthropology
	Louisiana State University
	Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4105 USA
	Tel. 504-388-6171

LASSO presenters are encouraged to submit their polished papers to be
considered for publication in the _Southwest Journal of Linguistics_.

Presentation of papers at the LASSO annual meetings is a privilege of
membership in LASSO; 1998 dues must be paid by June 15 in order for your
abstract to be considered. Annual dues for individuals are US$15.00
(US$7.50 for students, retired persons, and those not employed). To pay
dues or for additional information, contact:
	Garland D. Bills, Executive Director, LASSO
	Department of Linguistics
	University of New Mexico
	Albuquerque, NM 87131-1196 USA
	Tel.: 505-277-7416
	Fax: 505-277-6355
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Message 2: MT Special Issue on SLT: REMINDER

Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 16:26:54 +0200
From: Steven Krauwer <>
Subject: MT Special Issue on SLT: REMINDER





Guest editor: Steven Krauwer (Utrecht University)

Guest editorial board:
 Doug Arnold (University of Essex)
	 Pascale Fung (HKUST, Hong Kong)
 Walter Kasper (DFKI, Saarbrucken)
	 Alon Lavie (CMU, Pittsburgh)
	 Lori Levin (CMU, Pittsburgh)
	 Hermann Ney (RWTH, Aachen)
	 Harold Somers (UMIST, Manchester)

Some 15 years ago, when Machine Translation had become
fashionable again in Europe, few people would be prepared to
consider seriously embarking upon spoken language translation
research. After all, where both machine translation of written
text, and speech understanding and production (despite important
achievements) were still quite far from showing robustness in
domain-independent applications, it seemed clear that putting
three not even halfway understood technologies together would be
premature, and bound to fail. Since then, the world has changed.

Many researchers, both in academia and in industry, have taken up
the challenge to build systems capable of translating spoken
language. Does that mean that most of the problems involved in
speech-to-text, text-to-text translation, and text-to-speech have
been solved? The answer is no: although we have made a tremendous
progress, both from a scientific and from a technological point
of view, many of the fundamental problems in MT and in speech
understanding remain unsolved.

Yet a certain degree of optimism is justified here. First of all,
it is clear that on the whole general expectations of what MT
will do are changing. Where in the past the ultimate goal of MT
seemed to be to provide a perfect, but cheaper and faster
alternative to the human translator, there is now a clear shift
from the ideal of fully automated high quality translation of
unrestricted texts to the more practical problem of overcoming
the language barriers we encounter in various situations. This
shift of focus allows us to partition the problem we address into
a series of smaller ones, the solution to which may be within our

This applies both to spoken and written language translation. If
we look at spoken communication between human beings with
different native languages, very often the main success criterion
for this communication is not whether or not the individual
utterances produced by the participants have been expressed or
understood without errors (which will rarely be the case), but
rather whether the intended goal of the communication has been
attained (hotel room reservation, airline information, etc). This
observation is extremely important when we try to set our goals
for spoken translation systems. Once we have realized that
communication takes place in a specific context, with a specific
goal, and have accepted that sentence-by-sentence linguistically
correct translation is not a necessary condition for successful
multilingual communication, we can start exploiting the full
potential of spoken dialogues in human-human and human-machine
interaction: the basic structure of dialogues, the ways to
control dialogue flow, the possibility for repair.

A workshop dedicated to spoken language translation, organized in
conjunction with EACL/ACL 1997 in Madrid, showed that there was a
keen interest in the topic, and that many acedemic and industrial
research teams have interesting results to report.

Therefore we feel that the time has come to dedicate a special
issue of the journal Machine Translation to this topic, and we
are inviting high-quality, previously unpublished research papers
addressing problems in the whole field of spoken language
translation. (Note: authors who had papers accepted for the
Madrid workshop are especially encouraged to submit papers which
have developed out of their workshop contributions, though they
should note that we do not intend simply to reprint the workshop
papers in their original form.)

We are especially interested in papers addressing problems or
solutions that are typical for spoken language translation (as
opposed to written language translation).


Please consult the journal's web pages:
home page:
Instructions for Authors:
LaTeX style files:

Articles should be submitted DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLISHERS, either
by e-mail to, with the subject header
"Submission to COAT Speech special issue", or in hard-copy to
either of the following addresses:

Machine Translation Editorial Office, Machine Translation Editorial Office
Kluwer Academic Publishers Kluwer Academic Publishers
P.O. Box 990, P.O. Box 230
3300 AZ Dordrecht, Accord, MA 02018-023
The Netherlands U.S.A. 

The journal is typeset using LaTeX, so the preferred medium for
submission of articles in electronic format is LaTeX source
(using the Kluwer style file) or gzipped postscript. If
submitting hard-copy, four copies of the paper are required. The
length of the papers should be approximately 10-20 pages if using
the Kluwer style file (around 20k words). Authors are requested
to send a copy of an Abstract of not more than 200 words to the
guest editor or in hard-copy to

 Steven Krauwer,
 Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS,
 Trans 10,
 3512 JK Utrecht,
 The Netherlands


Submissions and abstracts should be received by July 1 1998.
Papers will be reviewed by at least three members of the
editorial board. We are aiming for publication as issue 3 or 4 of
volume 13 (Autumn or Winter, 1998).
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