Within the framework of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, to be held at the Universidad de La Rioja (Logroño, Spain), 8-11 September 2011, we would like to propose a workshop on functionally motivated work in computational approaches to models of language and grammar
Brian Nolan (Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Dublin Ireland)
Carlos Periñán Pascual (Universidad Católica de San Antonio, Murcia Spain)
In this call for papers we propose to host a workshop under the SLE to examine and discuss recent and current work in the use of functional, cognitive and constructional approaches to the computational modelling of language and grammars.
While recognising that in recent times much work has concentrated on statistical models, we wish to examine in particular computational models that are linguistically motivated and that deal with problems at the interfaces between concept, semantics, lexicon, syntax and morphology. Many functionally oriented models of grammar, including Functional Grammar, Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and reference Grammar have lent them selves to work as diverse as lexically motivated machine translation from Arabic to English (Nolan and Salem 2009, Salem and Nolan 2009a and 2009b) and to the conceptual ontological work on FunGramKB (Periñán-Pascual & Arcas-Túnez 2005, 2007, 2010a, 2010b; Periñán-Pascual & Mairal Usón 2009) and recent work undertaken within the field of Lexical-Constructional Model (Mairal Usón, R. & Francisco Ruiz de Mendoza. 2008 and 2009, Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco José and Mairal, Ricardo. 2008, Guest, Nolan & Mairal-Uson. 2009) and Role and Reference Grammar (Van Valin 2005, Van Valin & LaPolla 1997).
Indeed, similar work has been ongoing quietly within the domain of Sign Linguistics where various initiatives based upon variations of the original Mental Spaces Model (Fauconnier 1994) have been productively used in the creation of digital intelligent avatars to translate spoken/written languages into several Sign Languages (Morrissey & Way 2006, Cassell et al 2000, Prendinger & Ishizuka 2010). Sign Languages, as visual gestural languages, pose interesting problems for functional models of grammar (Leeson & Nolan 2008, Leeson et al 2006).
The organisers of this workshop are a European group of linguists, computational linguists and computer scientists who, since the 2004 Role and Reference Grammar International Conference in Dublin have formulated computational proposals in different areas concerned with the lexicon and concept ontologies, and the computational processing of the syntax, morphology and semantics of a variety of languages. Thus far, these actual computational projects have encompassed 1) rule-based lexicalist interlingua bridge machine translation, 2) ontological engineering of concepts that enhance and enrich the RRG logical structures in a machine tractable way, 3) the implementation of a unified lexical meta-language in software, and 4) the parsing of complex sentences. The languages that have undergone a computation treatment in RRG have included English, Arabic and Spanish, and others.
A consequence of this computational work has been the enrichment of the theoretical elements of the RRG theory, especially in its semantics and lexical underpinnings where they connect with concepts, and the building of frame based applications in software that demonstrate the viability of the RRG theory in natural language processing. Furthermore, this computational work provides compelling evidence that functional approaches to grammar have a positive and crucial role to play in natural language processing. We claim that a functional approach to grammar delivers a credible and realistic linguistic model to underpin these kinds of NLP applications than is to be found with the various statistical approaches.
The main topics of the workshop will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The deployment of functional models in parse and generation
- The architecture of the lexicon
- The linking system between semantics, lexicon and morphysyntax
- Interpretation of the linguistic model into an algorithm specification
- Issues for the layered structure of the clause and word
- Complexity issues
- Concept formation
- Linguistically motivated computational approaches to gesture in language
We would like to present a forum for a functional and cognitive linguistic, computational research agenda, based around an inclusive model consisting of the various cognitive and functional approaches to grammar. In sum, the aim of this workshop is to offer a forum for discussion and critical evaluation of the full gamut of research projects that have an unquestionable social and technological impact, and that also contributes to our understanding of languages in a functionally oriented way.
Abstracts are invited for 20 minute presentations with 10 minute discussion. Interested researchers and linguists are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, affiliation and provisional abstract of 500 words by 10 November 2010.
Submission of provisional abstract: 10 November 2010.
Notification of acceptance of workshop proposal: 15th December 2010.
If the workshop proposal is accepted then all abstracts will need to be submitted to SLE by 15th January 2011, via the SLE conference website: http://sle2011.cliap.es
Notification of acceptance: 31st March 2011
Registration: From April 2011 onwards
Conference: 8-11 September 2011
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