EACL 2009 Workshop on the Interaction between Linguistics and Computational Linguistics: Virtuous, Vicious or Vacuous?
March 30, 2009
In its infancy, computational linguistics drew heavily on theoretical linguistics. There have been numerous examples of co-development successes between computational and theoretical linguistics over the years (e.g. syntactic theories, discourse processing and language resource development), and significant crossover with other areas of linguistics such as psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics.
Throughout the history of the field, however, there has always been a subset of computational linguistics which has openly distanced itself from theoretical linguistics, perhaps most famously in the field of machine translation (MT) where there is relatively little in the majority of "successful" MT systems that a core linguist would identify with. In the current climate of hard-core empiricism within computational linguistics it is appropriate to reflect on where we have come from and where we are headed relative to the various other fields of linguistics. As part of this reflection, it is timely to look beyond theoretical linguistics to the various other fields of linguistics which have traditionally received less exposure in computational linguistics, including sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, neurolinguistics and evolutionary linguistics.
This workshop is an attempt to bring together linguists and computational linguists across the broad spectrum of the two fields who operate across or near the computational "divide", to reflect on the relationship between the two fields, including the following questions:
- What contributions has computational linguistics made to linguistics, and vice versa?
- What are examples of success/failure of marrying linguistics and computational linguistics, and what can we learn from them?
- How can we better facilitate the virtuous cycle between computational linguistics and linguistics?
- Is modern-day computational linguistics relevant to current-day linguistics, and vice versa? If not, should it be made more relevant, and how?
- What do computational and core linguistics stand to gain from greater cross-awareness between the two fields?
- What untapped areas/aspects of linguistics are ripe for cross-fertilisation with computational linguistics, and vice versa?
On the basis of exploring answers to these and other questions, the workshop aims to explore possible trajectories for linguistics and computational linguistics, in terms of both concrete low-level tasks and high-level aspirations/synergies.
The workshop is intended to be of interest to both the large numbers of people interested in deep linguistic processing (e.g. grammar developers, computational syntacticians, computational semanticists, researchers working on parsing and generation, and researchers applying deep linguistic processing in various application areas), but also those who have perhaps explicitly distanced themselves from linguistics, or who come from a linguistic background but have moved away from it in their computational linguist research. We also strongly encourage (pure) linguists to come along.
- Mark Johnson (Brown University, USA)
- Frank Keller (University of Edinburgh, UK)
- Mark Liberman (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
- Stelios Piperidis (Institute for Language and Speech Processing, Greece)
- Geoffrey Pullum (University of Edinburgh, UK)
- Emily M. Bender (University of Washington, USA)
- Gregor Erbach (European Union)
- Bob Moore (Microsoft Research, USA)
- Gertjan van Noord (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
- Hans Uszkoreit (Saarland University, Germany)
- Timothy Baldwin
- University of Melbourne
- Valia Kordoni
- German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and
The workshop is endorsed by the Erasmus Mundus European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies (LCT).