[Corpora-List] Call for papers: Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages

Shuly Wintner shuly at cs.haifa.ac.il
Fri Oct 24 00:14:46 CEST 2008

***** On-line submission now open! ****

EACL-2009 Workshop on Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages

Co-located with The 12th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics Athens, Greece, Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 http://staff.um.edu.mt/mros1/casl09/


The Semitic family includes many languages and dialects spoken by a large number of native speakers (around 300 million). However, Semitic languages as a whole are still understudied. The most prominent members of this family are Arabic (and its dialects), Hebrew, Amharic, Aramaic, Maltese and Syriac. Their shared ancestry is apparent through pervasive cognate sharing, a rich and productive pattern-based morphology, and similar syntactic constructions.

An increasing body of computational linguistics work is starting to appear for both Arabic and Hebrew. Arabic alone, as the largest member of the Semitic family, has been receiving much attention lately via dedicated projects such as MEDAR, as well as workshops and conferences. These include, among others, the Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop (ACL 2001, Toulouse, France), the workshop on Arabic Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2002, Las Palmas, Canary Islands), a special session on Arabic processing in Traitement Automatique du Langage Naturel (TALN 2004, Fes, Morocco), the NEMLAR Arabic Language Resources and Tools Conference (2004, Cairo, Egypt), The Challenge of Arabic for NLP/MT (October 2006, London, U.K.), and the series of workshops on Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (ACL 1998, Montreal, Canada; ACL 2005, Ann Arbor, USA; and ACL 2007, Prague, Czech Republic) . The increase in attention to Arabic has been coupled with a surge in computational resources for this language, made available to the community by the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) and by the European Language Resources Association (ELRA/ELDA). Tools and resources for other Semitic languages are being created at a slower rate. While corpora and some tools are necessarily language-specific, ideally there should be more cross-fertilization among research and development efforts for different Semitic languages.

The workshop will be an opportunity for the Special Interest Group on Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (the SIG) to meet and discuss future direction in Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing approaches to Semitic Languages.


We invite submissions on all Semitic languages, including work describing recent state-of-the-art NLP systems and work leveraging resource and tool creation for the Semitic language family. We especially welcome submissions on work that crosses individual language boundaries, heightens awareness amongst Semitic-language researchers of shared challenges and breakthroughs, and highlights issues and solutions common to all Semitic languages.

Papers should describe original work; they should emphasize completed work rather than intended work, and should indicate clearly the state of completion of the reported results. A paper accepted for presentation at the Workshop cannot be presented or have been presented at any other meeting with publicly available published proceedings. Papers that are being submitted to other conferences or workshops must indicate this on the submission page.

Reviewing of papers will be double-blind, and all submissions will receive three independent reviews. Final decisions on the program will be made by the Program Committee. Submissions will be assessed with respect to appropriateness, clarity, soundness/correctness, meaningful comparison, originality/innovativeness, and impact of ideas or results. All papers that are accepted will be published in the proceedings of the Workshop, and will be presented as a poster or an oral presentation. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to attend the Workshop and present the paper. The language of the Workshop is English.

Submission is electronic, via a dedicated web-service. Please consult the Workshop web page for more details: http://staff.um.edu.mt/mros1/casl09/

Important dates:

Dec 19, 2008 Deadline for paper submission Jan 30, 2009 Notification of acceptance of papers Feb 13, 2009 Camera-ready copies due Mar 31, 2009 EACL 2009 workshops


Mike Rosner, Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of Malta, Malta Shuly Wintner, Department of Computer Science, University of Haifa, Israel

Program Committee:

Ann Bies (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA) Tim Buckwalter (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA) Violetta Cavalli-Sforza (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) Mona Diab (Columbia University, USA) Joseph Dichy (University of Lyon 2, France) Michael Elhadad (Ben Gurion University, Israel) Martha W. Evens (Illinois Institute of Technology, USA) Ray Fabri (University of Malta) Ali Farghaly (Oracle, USA) Alexander Fraser (University of Stuttgart, Germany) Andrew Freeman (Washington University, USA) Albert Gatt (University of Aberdeen, UK) Gregory Grefenstette, (LIC2M/CEA-LIST France) Nizar Habash (Columbia University, USA) Alon Itai (Technion/Israel Institute of Technology, Israel) Steven Krauwer (Utrecht University, Netherlands) Mohamed Maamouri (LDC, University of Pennsylvania USA) Bente Maegaard (CST, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) Nurit Melnik (Oranim College, Israel) Uzzi Ornan (Technion, Israel) Owen Rambow (Columbia University, USA) Mike Rosner (University of Malta, Malta) co-chair Paolo Rosso (Universidad Politecnica Valencia, Spain) Khalil Sima'an (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Abdelhadi Soudi (Ecole Nationale de l'Industrie Minerale, Morocco) Adam Ussishkin (University of Arizona, USA) Shuly Wintner (University of Haifa, Israel) co-chair Imed Zitouni (IBM Research, USA)

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