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Category:   E-CFP
Subject:   ESSLLI-03, Meaning and Implementation of Discourse Particles
From:   Henk Zeevat
Email:   henk.zeevat_(on)_hum.uva.nl
Date received:   14 Mar 2003
Deadline:   04 Apr 2003
Start date:   18 Aug 2003

Second CALL FOR PAPERS "The Meaning and Implementation of Discourse Particles" Workshop held as part of the "Fifteenth European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information" ESSLLI-03 Vienna, Austria August 18-22 Workshop webpage: http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/%7Estede/essllicfp.html Discourse particles (or 'discourse markers') are an important device for conveying structure in both spoken and written discourse - even though there are significant differences of particle usage in the two modes. From the perspective of computational linguistics, discourse particles are both a promise and a challenge. * A promise because they seem to be functioning in communication between humans as devices that indicate discourse relations and other coherence relations in text and dialogue and so it would seem that their treatment would help natural dialogue systems to get a better grasp on the intentions of the user, while at the same time it would help them to achieve more natural and comprehensible output to the user. * A challenge, because their analysis is notoriously difficult and seems to involve concepts that are beyond current levels of sophistication in either natural language processing or in natural language semantics. The workshop aims at collecting contributions to the theory and implementation of discourse particles and similar devices (intonation, tag questions, modal auxiliaries, etc.) with the aim of building a common understanding of the current possibilities and of contributing to better natural language processing and a deeper understanding of the nature of discourse particles and their function in indicating speech acts and discourse structure. A central goal is to connect the informal understanding of particle use with the tasks of understanding and generating natural natural language, e.g. for use in dialogue systems. This requires formalisation of the informal understanding, and where formal approaches are available, the study of their usability in practical systems. Invited speaker: Jerry R. Hobbs (ISI, Univ. of Southern California) During the workshop there will be paper presentations and ample time for discussion. We invite contributions to the following topics: * Semantics and pragmatics of discourse particles * Mechanisms by which particles help to define (specialisations of) speech acts * Correspondences between particles and discourse structure, including information structure * Universality: are the functions of discourse particles language-specific or is some realisation found in each language? * The driving force behind the grammaticalisation processes that create particles: universal function or perceived benefits * Place of knowledge about particles in language processing: does it belong to the lexicon or to the grammar? * Differences in particle usage between spoken and written language * (Automatic) language understanding: how do we disambiguate particles? * (Automatic) language production: why do we when use which particle -- the applicability conditions of particles * Spoken language processing: particular dialog phenomena (particles signalling turn-taking, topic shifts etc) We invite submissions of extended abstracts. They should be in electronic form (Postscript of PDF) and not exceed 5 pages. Send your submission prior to the deadline to either Manfred Stede or Henk Zeevat (addresses below). Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by members of the program committee. When accepted, authors are asked to submit final versions of their abstracts, which will be distributed during the workshop, as well as on this web page. The question of a follow-up publication will be discussed at the end of the workshop. Notice: Workshop participants must register for ESSLLI 2003. Early registration fees apply to authors of accepted papers. Organizers: Manfred Stede stede_(on)_ling.uni-potsdam.de> (Computational Linguistics, Potsdam University) Henk Zeevat henk_(on)_illc.uva.nl> (ILLC, University of Amsterdam) Program Committee: Kerstin Fischer, Univ. of Bremen Isabel Gomes-Txurruka, ILCLI/Donostia-San Sebastian Alex Lascarides, Univ. of Edinburgh Daniel Marcu, ISI/Univ. of Southern California Manfred Stede, Univ. of Potsdam Henk Zeevat, Univ. of Amsterdam Important Dates: Submission due: April 4 Notification of acceptance: May 2 Final version camera-ready: May 23

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