2nd International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change 2021

Call for Papers
2nd International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change 2021 (LChange’21)
Co-located with ACL 2021 to be held in Bangkok, on August 5-6, 2021

Human language changes over time, driven by the dual needs for adapting to sociocultural and technological development and facilitating efficient communication. As a result, for example, some words may acquire novel meanings or lose existing meanings; novel words may be coined or borrowed from other languages, while obsolete words slide into obscurity. This workshop builds on its first edition that featured over 50 submissions and 65 attendees. The goals are to 1) present cutting-edge research on computational approaches to historical language change with the primary focus on digital text corpora, and 2) build and strengthen the community of interdisciplinary scholars on historical language change.

Important Dates
* April 26, 2021: Paper submission
* May 28, 2021: Notification of acceptance
* June 7, 2021: Camera-ready papers due
* August 5-6, 2021: Workshop dateKeynote Talks

There will be two keynote talks providing us with different perspectives, both methods, application and evaluation. These will be announced in the next few months.

We accept three types of submissions, long papers, short papers and abstracts, all following the ACL2021 style, and the ACL submission policy. Long papers may consist of up to eight (8) pages of content, plus unlimited references, short papers may consist of up to four (4) pages of content; final versions will be given one additional page of content so that reviewers’ comments can be taken into account. Abstracts may consist of up to two (2) pages of content, plus unlimited references but will not be given any additional page upon acceptance. Submissions should be sent in electronic forms, using the Softconf START conference management system. The submission site will be announced on the workshop page once available.

We invite original research papers from a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:
* Novel methods for detecting diachronic semantic change and lexical replacement
* Automatic discovery and quantitative evaluation of laws of language change
* Computational theories and generative models of language change
* Sense-aware (semantic) change analysis
* Diachronic word sense disambiguation
* Novel methods for diachronic analysis of low-resource languages
* Novel methods for diachronic linguistic data visualization
* Novel applications and implications of language change detection
* Quantification of sociocultural influences on language change
* Cross-linguistic, phylogenetic, and developmental approaches to language change
* Novel datasets for cross-linguistic and diachronic analyses of language

Submissions are open to all, and are to be submitted anonymously. All papers will be refereed through a double-blind peer review process by at least three reviewers with final acceptance decisions made by the workshop organizers.

The workshop is scheduled to last for one day either August 5th or 6th. Contact us at PC-ACLws2021@languagechange.org if you have any questions.

Workshop organizers
Nina Tahmasebi, University of Gothenburg
Adam Jatowt, University of Innsbruck
Yang Xu, University of Toronto
Simon Hengchen, University of Gothenburg
Syrielle Montariol, University Paris-Saclay

Linguistic Annotator at Appen Butler Hill Inc.

University or Organization: Appen Butler Hill Inc.
Web Address
Job Title: Linguistic Annotator
Job Rank: Consultant
Specialty Areas: General Linguistics
Required Language(s): English (eng)


Appen is pooling for an upcoming project for Linguists and is recruiting a team of highly skilled Linguists to work on the task. For this project, vendors learn a complex semantic labeling system and apply it thoughtfully and consistently across large volumes of data.

The successful contractor linguist will be engaged in the following responsibilities:
– Annotate language data with linguistic information
– Implement annotation conventions and guidelines with accuracy and consistency
– Communicate with other annotators about effective annotation strategies
– Contribute to the improvement of tools and processes by raising issues and suggesting improvements
– Understand and adapt to changing requirements

– Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Language Technologies, Computer Science, or related field
– Interest in practical as well as theoretical linguistics, especially syntax, semantics, and pragmatics
– Facility with computers and software applications
– Ability to adapt to changing requirements, priorities, and revisions
– Cooperative, solution-oriented attitude
– Eagerness to learn new skills and work quickly
– Enthusiasm for detail work
– Ability to focus for significant portions of the workday
– Strong problem solving and analytical skills

Preferred Qualifications:
– Advanced degree and/or industry experience
– NLU/NLP annotation experience
– Experience with ontologies and label sets
– Experience working remotelyes of data.

To apply, please send an updated resume and cover letter to the application email provided below.

Application Deadline: (Open until filled)

Email Address for Applications: aabayon@appen.com
Contact Information:
Abigail Abayon
Email: aabayon@appen.com

Learning minimalist grammars via lexical item decomposition

El grupo de lingüística computacional del Instituto de Filología y Literaturas Hispánicas “Dr. Amado Alonso” invita a la charla abierta que dará la doctoranda Marina Ermolaeva (University of Chicago) el sábado 26 de septiembre a las 11 horas con el título “Learning minimalist grammars via lexical item decomposition”.

La charla tendrá una duración aproximada de una hora y media y será dictada en inglés a través de Skype. Para inscribirse a la misma, solicitamos completen el siguiente formulario.

Adjuntamos un flyer y resumen de la charla. Se agradece la difusión entre quienes puedan estar interesados.

Learning minimalist grammars via lexical item decompositionWithin the currently dominant framework for syntax, based around Chomsky’s (1995, 2000) Minimalist Program, it is not uncommon to encounter multiple analyses of the same natural language pattern in the literature. A natural question, then, is whether one could evaluate and compare syntactic proposals from a quantitative point of view, approaching the issue as a learning problem. Minimalist grammars (Stabler 1997) are a natural choice for this task. As a formalization of the Minimalist Program, they are well-suited for implementing analyses of syntax phenomena, yet at the same time explicit in spelling out assumptions about syntactic units and operations.Taking a step towards the goal outlined above, this presentation describes a principled way of making linguistic generalizations by detecting and eliminating syntactic and phonological redundancies in the data. As proof of concept, I will first introduce a toolkit of basic operations over lexical items and provide a small step-by-step example transforming a “naive” minimalist grammar over unsegmented words into an “optimized”, linguistically motivated grammar over morphemes. I will then demonstrate and discuss a description of the English auxiliary system, passives, and raising verbs produced by a prototype implementation of the learning procedure based on these operations.

PhD position at University of Potsdam

Institution/Organization: University of Potsdam
Department: Applied Computational Linguistics
Web Address: http://angcl.ling.uni-potsdam.de
Level: PhD

Duties: Research
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics

Conditional on the formal funding decision, there is an opening for a PhD student position at University of Potsdam (Germany) in the field of Applied Computational Linguistics / Discourse Research Lab (headed by Prof. Manfred Stede). It is part of the BMBF cooperative project “Adaptive AI-supported Learning Assistant”, which has research partners in machine learning and education science, as well as a commercial application partner.

The position is available from February 01, 2021; it can be either full-time or split into two half-time positions. The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost). The duration of the contract is for three years.

The overall goal of the project is to develop a prototypical system that assists a teacher in selecting and evaluating small learning tasks for individual students. For some of these, students’ responses may be short texts, and they are to receive suitable feedback on their answers. The prototype will be restricted to a range of subject areas and topics (to be defined with the partners). The object language is German. The Potsdam subproject deals with answer analysis and feedback production. Candidates thus should be experienced in robust text analysis and/or template-based text generation, have a working knowledge of German, and ideally have built software in client-server architectures (web services, REST etc.). An MSc degree in Computational Linguistics or Computer Science (with solid NLP knowledge) is necessary.

The candidate will have the following tasks in the project:
– Design and implement a module for analyzing short text responses,
– Design and implement a module for feedback generation,
– Participate in defining the interfaces with the partners,
– Support the coordination of the project.

Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal suitability.

The University of Potsdam strives to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching and specifically encourages female applicants to apply
for this position.
Position is open until filled. Applications will be evaluated starting September 15, 2020.Questions about the project or the lab can be directed to Prof. Stede at the contact information provided below.

Questions on formalities and applications (statement of research interest, CV, transcripts/degree certificates, list of publications/code repositories (if
any), references) should be sent to Ms. Esslinger: essling@uni-potsdam.de (please mention “AKILAS” in the subject line)

Application Deadline: 15-Sep-2020 (Open until filled)
Contact Information:
Prof Manfred Stede

Post Doc Maitre Assistant-e at University of Geneva

University or Organization: University of Geneva
Department: Linguistics
Job Location: Vessy, Switzerland
Web Address

Job Title: Maitre Assistant-e
Job Rank: Post Doc
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics

The University of Geneva, Department of Linguistics, unit for Computational Linguistics, invites applications for a postdoctoral position in computational linguistics.

The official announcement in French can be found following the link

Applicants should have completed a PhD in computational linguistics or equivalent, and a publication list in international venues in computational linguistics. The ideal applicant has a strong competence in core topics in computer science (programming, algorithms, artificial intelligence), as well as natural language processing, and a demonstrated interest in the linguistic aspects of the discipline. Since the teaching language in Geneva is French, good knowledge of French and English is required.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach courses in computer science and computational linguistics for a total of four hours a week at the bachelor’s and master’s level and be expected to participate in the research of the unit and pursue their own research. The successful candidate will be integrated in a large network of excellence, centered on the project ‘NCCR Evolving Language’, involving 40 research teams all over Switzerland.

The appointment is for a fixed term of 3 years, renewable under conditions, with an expected starting date of 1st of February, 2021.

Annual salary is from CHF 92’832 to CHF 98’080 per year, depending on qualifications.

Applicants should send:
– A cover letter clearly indicating the planned research and how this research will interact with the existing research in the team
– A curriculum vitae with names and email addresses of three references
– A complete list of publications indicating two or three representative references, with an indication of a URL where these publications will be available
– A photocopy of the doctoral diploma

Documents must be sent electronically, in pdf format only in one single document, to the department of linguistics at the application email provided below by the 15th September, 2020.

Informal inquiries can be addressed to Paola Merlo at the contact information provided below.

We strive for gender balance and encourage female applicants to apply.

Application Deadline: 15-Sep-2020
Email Address for Applications: eva.capitao@unige.ch
Contact Information:
Professor Paola Merlo
Email: Paola.Merlo@unige.ch

Postdoc in Linguistics – University of Oslo

University or Organization: University of Oslo
Department: Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
Job Location: Oslo, Norway
Web Address: https://www.hf.uio.no/iln/english/

Job Title: Postdoc in Linguistics
Job Rank: Post Doc
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Syntax

A Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1352) is available at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo.
The position is part of the UiO convergence environment ImmunoLingo led by Dr. Victor Greiff.
The convergence environment will set out to decipher the molecular language of adaptive immunity, which we call ImmunoLingo. Understanding Immunolingo is of incredible importance for the design and discovery of precision immunodiagnostics and immunotherapeutics. Our goal will be achieved by transdisciplinarily combining expertise of life sciences, machine learning, statistics and linguistics researchers. The fundamental hypothesis of ImmunoLingo is that there exists a meaningful structure in the amino acid sequence that defines what the receptor of an adaptive immune cell will recognize.
The candidate will use techniques from theoretical and computational linguistics to explore this structure. Relevant approaches include parsing amino acid sequences with multiple context free grammars based on grammar induction and engineering, semantic analysis of the discovered structures, and grammatical analysis of of individuals’ immune repertoires. Much of this work will complement analysis based on deep learning within the project leading to fruitful combination of rule-based and machine learning-based methods. Sequence motifs in the immune system are known to be highly discontinuous and overlapping and an important goal of the project is to develop scaleable techniques for dealing with these phenomena also in natural language.
The candidate will join the linguistics group at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, which has a vibrant research community. He or she will also have the opportunity to work in cross-disciplinary groups with other ImmunoLingo researchers at the Department of Immunology, the Department of Informatics and the Department of Mathematics. The main supervisor of the candidate’s work will be Dr. Dag Trygve Truslew Haug. Dr. Geir Sandve from informatics and dr. Victor Greiff from Immunology will be co-supervisors. Within three months of the start date, the successful candidate should have finalized a project description in collaboration with the supervisors.
The position is available for a period of 3 years. There is a 10 % component of compulsory work which will be assigned by UiO:Life Science in agreement with the project leader, contingent on the qualifications of the candidate.

The successful candidate is expected to become part of the research environment/network of the department and contribute to its development. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Application Deadline: 10-Sep-2020
Web Address for Applications
Contact Information:
Prof Dag Haug
Email: daghaug@ifikk.uio.no

Postdoc in (Computational) Semantics – University of Oslo

University or Organization: University of Oslo
Department: Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
Job Location: Oslo, Norway

Web Address: https://www.hf.uio.no/iln/english/
Job Title: Postdoc in (Computational) Semantics
Job Rank: Post Doc
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Semantics

The Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and is associated with the project Universal Natural Language Understanding. The overall goal of the project is to create semantic representations in the form of Discourse Representation Structures from Universal Dependencies syntax trees, by using both rule-based techniques from Glue Semantics and (neural) machine learning approaches in a process that normalizes the syntax trees, rewrites the nodes as lambda terms in a course-grained, language-independent manner and composes them. In addition, the project will do language-specific enrichment of the resulting semantic representations based on available lexical resources for Norwegian. Prospective applicants who want to know more about the project should contact the PI, Professor Dag Haug.
The postdoc will be part of the project’s core team together with a PhD fellow, a research programmer and the PI. The candidate is expected to contribute to building the overall system and to conduct research closely connected to the main project. It is essential for the project that the team as group is competent in both theoretical and computational approaches to semantics.
The position is available for a period of 3 years. There is a 10 % component of the position which is devoted to teaching and administrative duties.
The successful candidate is expected to become part of the research environment/network of the department and contribute to its development. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Application Deadline: 10-Sep-2020

Web Address for Applications: click here
Contact Information:
Prof Dag Haug
Email: daghaug@ifikk.uio.no

Neural network models for articulatory gestures

Short Title: NNArt
Date: 09-Jul-2020
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact: Tomas Lentz
Contact Email: lentz@uva.nl
Meeting URL: https://staff.science.uva.nl/t.o.lentz/nnart/
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology

Meeting Description:
This workshop (satellite to LabPhon 17 on the day after, 9 July, 2020, 1:30pm-17:00pm) aims at bringing together researchers interested in articulation and computational modelling, especially neural networks.

Articulation has been formalised as dynamic articulatory gestures, i.e., a target-driven pattern of articulator movements (e.g., Browman & Goldstein, 1986). Such a pattern unfolds in time and space and could therefore also be seen as a spatial sequence of analytically relevant articulatory landmarks such as timepoint of peak velocity and target achievement. Seeing such sequences as sequences of vectors (of spatial coordinates) make them potentially learnable with algorithms for sequence modelling.

Current developments of machine learning offer greatly improved power for sequence learning and prediction. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) or their extension Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM, Hochreiter & Schmidhuber, 1997) allows efficient training over short and even long time intervals (Gers, Schraudolph & Schmidhuber, 2002). Such networks have been used for acoustic modelling, but their application in articulation research has been mainly been limited to ultrasound data, and applied less to the classification of two-dimensional articulator movement curves as obtained from EMA or ROI analyses of MRI data.

However, promising approaches to acoustics-to-EMA mapping tentatively suggest that articulatory movement allow meaningful modelling using deep neural networks (e.g., Liu et al., 2005, Chartier et al., 2018)

Program Information:
NNART offers three pre-recorded presentations of 30 minutes, available during (and through) the main LabPhon conference, and one online discussion session on 9 July, 12:45pm-1:30pm (Vancouver time).

Presentations (prerecorded):
– Sam Tilsen, Learning gestural parameters and activation in an RNN implementation of Task Dynamics
– Sam Kirkham, Georgina Brown and Emily Gorman, Uncovering phonological invariance and speaker individuality in articulatory gestures using machine learning
– Marco Silva Fonseca and Brennan Dell, Modelling optional sound variation and obligatory gesture assimilation using LSTM RNNs

Note: This workshop is accessible to registered attendees of the online conference LabPhon 17. Due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, both the main conference and our satellite will go virtual instead of taking place in Vancouver. The presentations will be made available as video files.

Discussion session (live, using Zoom):
You can send questions on the presentations, or discussion topics, to the organizers (details see above), or ask them in person to the presenters at the online session. Please register for both the main conference and our workshop to be kept up to date and to receive further information (e.g., the Zoom link) for the discussion session.

PhD – CRISSP – KU Leuven

Department: CRISSP
Web Address: https://www.crissp.be
Duties: Research
Specialty Areas: Morphology; Syntax


The research group Formal and Computational Linguistics (ComForT) and the Center for Research in Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology (CRISSP) at KU Leuven invites submissions for two PhD‐positions in formal linguistics.

Project Summary:
The COMIC‐project will investigate the morphology, syntax, and semantics of adjectival comparative constructions of the type illustrated in (1).

(1) Jill is taller than Fred.

Compared to the positive degree (Jill is tall), the comparative construction adds two pieces of material. First, the comparative morpheme –er is added to the adjective tall, and second, the comparative adjective taller introduces the phrase than Fred, which contains the comparative standard Fred, to which Jill is compared. The comparative standard is introduced by the standard marker than. Comparative constructions thus combine morphological marking (the –er‐morpheme), syntactic structure (the than‐phrase), and a semantic interpretation, in which two entities are compared with respect to a certain property (in this example Jill and Fred with respect to their height).

Existing approaches typically study the morphology or the syntax or the semantics of comparativeadjectives.

This has ledt o a situation where the outcomes of the different perspectives do not properly link up with one another: semantic analyses do not take into account—and are sometimes incompatible with—typological observations and generalisations, and syntactic and morphological approaches are insufficiently informed by the insights of compositional semantics. The COMIC‐project aims to fill this gap by developing a fully integrated analysis of these three aspects of comparative constructions.

Full project description: https://www.crissp.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Project-description.pdf

Your Profile:
– An MA degree in Linguistics, or Language(s) with a specialisation in linguistics.
– A curious, enterprising, and creative mind; excellent analytical skills.
– Fluency in both written and spoken English. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset but not required at the time of application.
– An interest in relating intricate language data to advanced linguistic theorizing.
– An outstanding record of undergraduate and Master’s level work.
– An ability to work both independently and to function in a group.

Our offer:
ComForT and CRISSP offer an environment where intellectual creativity and independence are encouraged to thrive. They foster the lively exchange of ideas, and provide strong intellectual, moral, and logistical support to its PhD students, postdocs, and other collaborators.The positions start in October 2020. One PhD‐student will be mainly located in Brussels and the other in Leuven, but geographical flexibility will be expected from both.Remuneration is in accordance with the official Belgian scales for academic personnel and bursaries, which offer internationally highly competitive pay (see the KU Leuven jobsite for more information: https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/en).Instructions for Application:
If you are interested, please apply via the KU Leuven online application tool at the application link provided below no later than July 3, 2020.

Include with your application:
– A letter of motivation,
– A CV,
– A copy of your MA thesis (or a draft thereof),
– A copy of relevant publications (if any), and
– The contact details of one or more referents (name, affiliation, email, telephone number).

Applications Deadline: 03-Jul-2020

Web Address for Applications: https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/55692401?hl=en&lang=en

Contact Information:
Prof. Dr. Guido Vanden Wyngaerd guido.vandenwyngaerd@kuleuven.be +32 2 609 88 83
Prof. Dr. Dany Jaspers dany.jaspers@kuleuven.be +32 2 447 18 92
Prof. Dr. Jeroen van Craenenbroeck jeroen.vancraenenbroeck@kuleuven.be +32 16 37 79 36

First Words in the World International Conference

Call for Submissions

The first Words in the World International Conference will take place October 16-18, 2020  and will include scholarly presentations as well as discussion panels.

The conference brings together psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and computational research on the representation and processing of words in the mind/brain.

The conference will strive to create presentation opportunities for trainees (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, recent graduates and others).

We encourage students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world to present their in-progress or completed work at this conference and engage in conversations with their colleagues on academic and non-academic topics.

Papers presented can, of course, include a mix of trainees and faculty members.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is August 1, 2020. View the abstract submission guidelines here: Abstract Submission Guidelines.http://wordsintheworld.ca/wow-conference-2020/call-for-submissions/