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[eu_members at aclweb dot org] Netherlands: Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition (PsychoCompLA-2009)



********** Call for Short Papers************


Psychocomputational Models of Human Language Acquisition
(PsychoCompLA-2009)

July 28th & 29th at CogSci 2009 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2009

http://www.colag.cs.hunter.cuny.edu/psychocomp/

Workshop Topic:

The workshop is devoted to psychologically-motivated computational
models of
language acquisition. That is, models which are compatible with
research in
psycholinguistics, developmental psychology and linguistics.

Invited Speakers:

* Tom Griffiths, University of California, Berkeley
* Amy Weinberg, University of Maryland (to be confirmed)

Workshop History:
This is the fifth meeting of the Psychocomputational Models of Human
Language
Acquisition workshop following PsychoCompLA-2004, held in Geneva,
Switzerland as
part of the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
(COLING-
2004), PsychoCompLA-2005 as part of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the
Association
for Computational Linguistics (ACL-2005) held in Ann Arbor, Michigan
where the
workshop shared a joint session with the Ninth Conference on
Computational
Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2005), PsychoCompLA-2007 held in
Nashville,
Tennessee as part of the 29th meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
(CogSci-
2007), and PsychoCompLA-2008 held in Washington D.C., as part of the
30th meeting
of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci-2008). Given the increasing
interest,
this year the workshop will be spread over two days directly before
the main
conference of the 31st meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
(CogSci-2009)
which begins on July 30th, 2009.


Workshop Description:

The workshop will present research and foster discussion centered
around
psychologically-motivated computational models of language
acquisition, with an
emphasis on the acquisition of syntax. In recent decades there has
been a
thriving research agenda that applies computational learning
techniques to
emerging natural language technologies and many meetings, conferences
and
workshops in which to present such research. However, there have been
only a few
(but growing number of) venues in which psychocomputational models of
how humans
acquire their native language(s) are the primary focus.
Psychocomputational models of language acquisition are of particular
interest in
light of recent results in developmental psychology that suggest that
very young
infants are adept at detecting statistical patterns in an audible
input stream.
Though, how children might plausibly apply statistical 'machinery' to
the task
of grammar acquisition, with or without an innate language component,
remains an
open and important question. One effective line of investigation is to
computationally model the acquisition process and determine
interrelationships
between a model and linguistic or psycholinguistic theory, and/or
correlations
between a model's performance and data from linguistic environments
that
children are exposed to.


Topics and Goals:

Short papers that present research on (but not necessarily limited
to) the following topics are welcome:

* Models that address the acquisition of word-order;
* Models that combine parsing and learning;
* Formal learning-theoretic and grammar induction models that
incorporate psychologically plausible constraints;
* Comparative surveys that critique previously reported
studies;
* Models that have a cross-linguistic or bilingual perspective;
* Models that address learning bias in terms of innate
linguistic knowledge versus statistical regularity in the
input;
* Models that employ language modeling techniques from corpus
linguistics;
* Models that employ techniques from machine learning;
* Models of language change and its effect on language
acquisition or vice versa;
* Models that employ statistical/probabilistic grammars;
* Computational models that can be used to evaluate existing
linguistic or developmental theories (e.g., principles &
parameters, optimality theory, construction grammar, etc.)
* Empirical models that make use of child-directed corpora such
as CHILDES.

This workshop intends to bring together researchers from cognitive
psychology,
computational linguistics, other computer/mathematical sciences,
linguistics and
psycholinguistics working on all areas of language acquisition.
Diversity and
cross-fertilization of ideas is the central goal.


Workshop Organizers:
Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam (rens.bod at uva.nl)
William Gregory Sakas, City University of New York  (sakas at
hunter.cuny.edu)
Workshop Co-Organizer:
Taylor Cassidy, City University of New York
(Pyshco dot Comp at hunter dot cuny dot edu)

Submission details:

Authors are invited to submit short papers of (maximally) 2 pages of
narrative
plus 2 pages for data, references and other supplementary materials.
Papers
should be anonymous, clearly titled and the narrative section should
be no more
than 1400 words in length. Either PDF, or MS Word formats are
acceptable. Please
include a cover sheet (as a separate attachment) containing the title
of your
submission, your name, contact details and affiliation. Send your
submission
electronically to

Email: Psycho dot Comp at hunter dot cuny dot edu dot
    with  PsychoCompLA-2009 Submission  somewhere in the subject
line.

Publication:

The accepted papers will appear in the online workshop proceedings.
Full papers
of accepted short papers will be considered in Fall 2009 for inclusion
in an
issue of the new Cognitive Science Society Journal - topiCS - whose
focus will
be psychocomputational modeling of human language acquisition.

Submission deadline: May 15, 2009

Contact: Psycho dot Comp at hunter dot cuny dot edu
      with  PsychoCompLA-2009  somewhere in the subject line.