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CLAGI 2009 : Computational Linguistic Aspects of Grammatical Inference


When Mar 30, 2009 - Mar 31, 2009
Where Athens, Greece
Submission Deadline Dec 19, 2008
Notification Due Jan 30, 2009
Final Version Due Feb 12, 2009
Categories    NLP

Call For Papers

EACL 2009 workshop on
Computational Linguistic Aspects of Grammatical Inference
Call for Papers

30 or 31 March 2009
Co-located with
The 12th Conference of the
European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Athens, Greece
Submission deadline: 19 December 2008


There has been growing interest over the last few years in learning
grammars from natural language text (and structured or semi-structured
text). The family of techniques enabling such learning is usually
called "grammatical inference" or "grammar induction".

The field of grammatical inference is often subdivided into formal
grammatical inference, where researchers aim to proof efficient
learnability of classes of grammars, and empirical grammatical
inference, where the aim is to learn structure from data. In this
case the existence of an underlying grammar is just regarded as a
hypothesis and what is sought is to better describe the language
through some automatically learned rules.

Both formal and empirical grammatical inference have been linked with
(computational) linguistics. Formal learnability of grammars has been
used in discussions on how people learn language. Some people mention
proofs of (non-)learnability of certain classes of grammars as
arguments in the empiricist/nativist discussion. On the more
practical side, empirical systems that learn grammars have been
applied to natural language. Instead of proving whether classes of
grammars can be learnt, the aim here is to provide practical learning
systems that automatically introduce structure in language. Example
fields where initial research has been done are syntactic parsing,
morphological analysis of words, and bilingual modeling (or machine

This workshop at EACL 2009 aims to explore the state-of-the-art in
these topics. In particular, we aim at bringing formal and empirical
grammatical inference researchers closer together with researchers in
the field of computational linguistics.


We invite the submission of papers on original and unpublished
research on all aspects of grammatical inference in relation to
natural language (such as, syntax, semantics, morphology, phonology,
phonetics), including, but not limited to

* Automatic grammar engineering, including, for example,
- parser construction,
- parameter estimation,
- smoothing, ...
* Unsupervised parsing
* Language modelling
* Transducers, for instance, for
- morphology,
- text to speech,
- automatic translation,
- transliteration,
- spelling correction, ...
* Learning syntax with semantics
* Unsupervised or semi-supervised learning of linguistic knowledge
* Learning (classes of) grammars (e.g. subclasses of the Chomsky
Hierarchy) from linguistic inputs
* Comparing learning results in different frameworks (e.g. membership
vs. correction queries)
* Learning linguistic structures (e.g. phonological features,
lexicon) from the acoustic signal
* Grammars and finite state machines in machine translation
* Learning setting of Chomskyan parameters
* Cognitive aspects of grammar acquisition, covering, among others,
- developmental trajectories as studied by psycholinguists working
with children,
- characteristics of child-directed speech as they are manifested
in corpora such as CHILDES, ...
* (Unsupervised) Computational language acquisition (experimental or


Papers should present original, completed and unpublished research,
not exceeding 8 pages. All submissions are to be formatted using the
EACL 2009 style files (

Papers should be submitted electronically, no later than Friday 19
December, 2008. The only accepted format for submitted papers is PDF.

The reviewing process will be blind; thus papers should not include
the authors' names and affiliations or any references to web sites,
project names etc. revealing the authors' identity. Each submission
will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee.
Accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings.

Important dates

19 December, 2008 - Deadline for paper submission
30 January, 2009 - Notification of acceptance
12 February, 2009 - Camera-ready copies due
30 or 31 March, 2009 - Computational Linguistic Aspects of Grammatical
Inference workshop held at EACL-09
(exact date to be announced)

Programme Committee

Srinivas Bangalore, AT&T Labs-Research, USA
Leonor Becerra-Bonache, Yale University, USA
Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Antal van den Bosch, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Alexander Clark, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Walter Daelemans, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Shimon Edelman, Cornell University, USA
Jeroen Geertzen, University of Cambridge, UK
Jeffrey Heinz, University of Delaware, USA
Alfons Juan, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain
Frantisek Mraz, Charles University, Czech Republic
Khalil Sima'an, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Richard Sproat, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Willem Zuidema, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Others to be confirmed

Organizing Committee

Menno van Zaanen, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Colin de la Higuera, Université de Saint-Etienne, France


Menno van Zaanen
Department of Communication and Information Sciences
Tilburg University
The Netherlands
mvzaanen (at)

Workshop website

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