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European Chapter of the ACL (EACL) newsletter, October 2003


                            EACL NEWSLETTER
                             October 2003


Table of Contents


Views of the Chair

Sponsorships 2003

Report on EACL 2003 Budapest

Announcement of ACL 2004 Barcelona

National CL/NLP Conferences: CLIN

Announcement of LangTech 2003 Paris

Introduction of the new student board

Announcement of new Knowledge Center for Processing Hebrew

Conference Report: RANLP

Announcement of EAMT 2004 Malta

Conference Calender

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Finally a new version of the EACL newsletter!  The EACL newsletter was
set up two years ago by Claire Gardent, and she has edited all issues
since then. Thanks, Claire, for all the work! At the risk of creating
a tradition, the chair-elect has taken over the editorship...

The previous half year has been a busy period, as far as CL
conferences go. Personally, I attended the EACL meeting in Budapest
and the IWPT workshop in Nancy. Both were successful: it seems
that computational linguistics in Europe is doing well. We have a
report on the Budapest event below. I also had the opportunity to
attend the ACL meeting in Sapporo (for me, Sapporo brings back
memories of the time when I watched, as a kid, the Dutch speed skater
Ard Schenk win three gold medals at the Olympics). This meeting was a
great success too. Very well organized, a large number of
participants, and a number of very good papers (reflected by the fact
that two papers were elected for the best paper award).

For these reasons, I'm really looking forward to the next conference
season, which will bring three large events to Europe: Coling in
Geneva, ACL in Barcelona, and LREC in Lisbon.

I hope to meet many of you there!

Gertjan van Noord

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Views of the Chair

In April, we celebrated the tenth birthday of the EACL conference. Set
on the hills surrounding Budapest, the conference gathered some 350
participants thus marking the success of the EACL attempts to increase
the size of the gathering. Thank you to all who work towards that goal
and in particular to Donia Scott, the previous EACL chair!

As the EACL conference is now triennial, the next EACL conference will
take place in 2006 (Watch out for the call for bids which will be
issued shortly!). This gives us more time to concentrate on other EACL
issues. In particular, John Nerbonne has been working towards the goal
of making the EACL a legal European entity (by making it a foundation)
-- this should give the EACL increased visibility, and allow for a
tighter link with in particular, the European Union.

As you know, 2003 has also brought a renewal of the board and of the
student board. You will find more information about the new student
board in this issue. We are looking forward to working together for
the EACL. We are of course open to any suggestion you might have on
how to improve the workings and achievements of the association.

Claire Gardent

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Sponsorships 2003

EACL has a policy of supporting initiatives that are likely to bring
more and better trained people into the European scene for Computational
Linguistics. This year, the EACL Board decided to provide sponsorship
for three educational events: Lexicom 2003, EUROLAN 2003, and ESSLLI

Lexicom 2003 was a training workshop in lexical computing and
lexicography, held at the University of Brighton in July, and tutored by
Sue Atkins, Adam Kilgarriff and Michael Rundell. Topics included
building text corpora, using software for analysing corpus data, and
designing and using dictionary databases and computational lexicons.
EACL sponsored a bursary for a student from Eastern Europe who would
otherwise not have been able to attend. The bursary was awarded to Nina
Tudjman Vukovic, a doctoral student from Zagreb University, Croatia.

The EUROLAN 2003 Summer School took place July 28-August 8 in Bucharest,
Romania, with the title "The Semantic Web and Language Technology: its
Potential and Practicalities". The summer school consisted of two weeks
of intensive study of Semantic Web technology and its application to
natural language processing, with seminars and hands-on lab sessions.
EACL sponsorship was used to waive the tuition fees for three Eastern
European students.

The 15th European Summer School in Logic Language and Information
(ESSLLI 2003) was held 18-29 August in Vienna, Austria. Foundational,
introductory and advanced courses together with workshops covered a
wide variety of topics in the areas of language and computation,
language and logic, and logic and computation. In the language and
computation area, EACL sponsored the foundational course on
Probabilistic Models of NLP given by Detlef Prescher and Khalil
Sima'an. The sponsorship took the form of a contribution of 750 euro
towards the presenters' expenses.

John Carroll

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Report on EACL 2003 Budapest

In April this year we celebrated twenty years of EACL conferences. As is
fitting for such a round number, the party was the biggest ever
with 350 participants gathering to attend workshops, tutorials and the
conference itself.

Although strongly international, with 40 countries represented,
the conference retained a distinctive European flavour: 78% of the
participants were from Europe (29 countries), 12% from America, 7% from
Australasia and 3% from Africa.

As is now usual in ACL related conferences, the event consisted of a
main conference, a student research workshop, demos, (12) workshops
and (4) tutorials. For the first time however, the EACL
conference included a research notes session with the aim of opening
up the conference to a wider range of presenters. Thus whilst for the main
conference, the acceptance rate was 26.5%, research notes had an
acceptance rate of 60%. Demos had a 80% acceptance rate, whereas
the student research workshop adopted a selective 33% acceptance

The Budapest local organisers did a superb job of catering to the
participants needs and making us feel welcome. Thank you to all and in
particular to Ference Kiefer, Tamas Varadi and Gusztav Hencsey!

The next EACL conference will take place in 2006. If you intend to
host EACL'06, watch out! The call for bids will be issued shortly.

Claire Gardent

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Announcement of ACL 2004 Barcelona

ACL'04 will be held in Barcelona from July 21st to 26th, 2004.  The
conference will form part of the Forum of Cultures that will be taking
place in Barcelona over the summer of 2004.  The Forum will include
not only scientific events such as the ACL conference, but an exciting
cultural programme of music, theatre, dance and art exhibitions, to
which ACL attendees will have access.

ACL'04 will be hosted by a committee composed of computational
linguists from several institutions in Barcelona, chaired by Prof Toni
Badia of University Pompeu Fabra.  The technical chairs are:

  Conference Chair:       Donia Scott
  Programme Chairs:       Walter Daelemans and Marilyn Walker
  Tutorial  Chair:        Inderjeet Mani
  Workshop Chair:         Srinivas Bangalore
  Demos Chairs:           Philippe Blache and Horacio Rodriques
  Publications Chairs:    Owen Rambow, Sergi Balari, Sadao Kurohashi
  Publicity  Chair:       Felisa Verdejo
  Exhibition Chair:       Toni Marti

The search for sponsorship chair(s) is still on; volunteers or
nominations are welcome!

For more information, please consult the conference website at

Donia Scott

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National CL/NLP Conferences: CLIN

CLIN is a series of yearly workshops targeted at computational
linguists working in the Netherlands and Flanders, and/or
computational linguists working on the Dutch language. The series
started in 1990, after a number of Dutch participants at the ACL
meeting in Pittsburgh realized that it would be silly to come all the
way to the USA to have interesting discussions among themselves.

In order to minimize organisational overhead, each annual meeting only
lasts a single day. The meeting consists of a keynote lecture from a
leading CL researcher. The remainder of the meeting consists of a
large number of parallel 20-minute presentations. The aim of the
meeting is to have both senior and junior researchers and
Ph.D. students in the programme. The number of presentations has
increased from about 25 in the first few years to about 50 last year
in Groningen. The language of the meeting is English (with some
Dutch exceptions).

After each CLIN meeting, the participants are invited to submit a full
paper version of their presentation. After a careful review procedure,
a subset of these papers is collected in a volume. This volume is
ready by the time of the next meeting, and is included in the
conference package of that meeting. Recent volumes are published by
Rodopi in their series "Language and Computers".

This years' meeting will be organised at the University of Antwerp
(Belgium) by the CNTS Language Technology Group (Walter Daelemans,
Bart Decadt, Guy De Pauw and VÈronique Hoste).  The keynote speaker
will be Thorsten Brants (Google Inc.).

The series of CLIN meetings is organised very informally by a working
group consisting of Walter Daelemans, Anton Nijholt and Gertjan van
Noord. The CLIN website is at http://www.let.rug.nl/~vannoord/Clin/


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Announcement of LangTech 2003 Paris

LangTech 2003 is the second edition of the European forum for language
technology, which offers a platform for the Language and Speech
technology community in Europe. The conference topics address the
latest technology breakthroughs.  Practical solutions and near-market
research results are presented during the conference and in the
accompanying exhibition, showing state-of-the-art products and

The first edition of this European forum for speech and language
technology, LangTech 2002 Berlin Germany, was attended by some 330
participants from over 30 countries, with presentations by
representatives of over 70 companies from 20 nations. Nearly
two-thirds of LangTech attendees came from industry or commercial

This years' meeting, organised in Paris, features two invited keynote
speakers: Paul Ricci (ScanSoft) and Sanda Harabagiu (Language Computer
Corporation and Texas University).

[information extracted from web-site, GvN]

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New Student Board

The EACL has a new student board: John Herring, Malte Gabsdil and
Julia Hockenmaier are succeeded by Irina Chugur, Sebastian Pado and
Leonoor van der Beek.

Irina Chugur graduated in linguistics at the Complutense University of
Madrid in 1999. She was involved in the building of the Spanish
WordNet. Her main research interests are in Lexical Semantics,
Computational Lexicology. She is currently at UNED Madrid, finishing
her PhD thesis on enriching lexical resources with lexical semantic
relations. Irina will be responsible for the web calendar.

Sebastian Pado is a PhD student at Saarland University, Saarbruecken,
Germany. He received a MSc in Cognitive Science and Natural Language
from Edinburgh University and he is involved with the SALSA project
which aims at producing a large, semantically annotated corpus of
German. He is interested in (Shallow) Semantics and in how to leverage
models of meaning. Sebastian will assist the EACL webmaster in general
web management.

Leonoor van der Beek is a student at the University of Groningen in
the Netherlands. Her PhD project is part of the Pionier Project
'Algorithms for Linguistic Processing' which focuses on developing
methods for efficient parsing and disambiguation and applying these
techniques to a broad coverage grammar for Dutch. Her main interest is
in formal syntax and grammar development. Leonoor will be responsible
for the educational webpages.

Leonoor van der Beek

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Announcement of new Knowledge Center for Processing Hebrew

A Knowledge Center for Processing Hebrew has been established, funded
by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology. Its goals are to
promote computerized processing of Hebrew, both written language and
speech. The center will establish computational infrastructure for
processing the Hebrew language, including specific projects for the
creation of corpora, linguistic databases, morphological processors
etc. The developed resources will be available for researchers both in
industry and in academia. The center is located at the Technion,
headed by Prof. Alon Itai. Affiliated researchers include Arnon Cohen,
Michael Elhadad, Yoad Winter and Shuly Wintner.  More information is
available through the web site http://www.mila.cs.technion.ac.il/

Alon Itai, Shuly Wintner

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Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2003) Borovets,
Bulgaria, 7-12 September 2003

The 4th International Conference RANLP-03 (http://lml.bas.bg/ranlp2003)
is the latest RANLP conference (after RANLP-95, RANLP-97 and RANLP-01)
and continues the tradition of the international summer schools in
computational linguistics held in Bulgaria since 1989. The informal
team behind RANLP consists of Bulgarians, working all over the world,
and includes Galia Angelova, Kalina Bontcheva, Ruslan Mitkov, Nicolas
Nicolov, and Nikolaj Nikolov. The general aim is to propagate the
latest CL achievements to Eastern European researchers, still keeping
the high scientific level of the events.  This aim has been
successfully completed thanks to among other things, the support
obtained via grants from the European Commission and other
international funding institutions (such as Volkswagen Foundation in
1997). RANLP-01 was supported by the EC as a High-Level Scientific
Conference and RANLP-03 is supported by an FP5 IST Conference grant.

RANLP is widely known for its outstanding keynote speakers and
tutorial lecturers. The 2003 list featured Branimir Boguraev, Shalom
Lappin, Inderjeet Mani, Stephen Pulman, Hans Uszkoreit, Yorick Wilks,
Dan Cristea, Hamish Cunningham, Ido Dagan, John Prager and Piek
Vossen.  RANLP-03 was highly selective for full papers (with an
acceptance rate of only 28%), and their publication in book form is
being discussed with a well-known publisher.  The conference
proceedings contains short papers and posters as well. Some 160
participants attended RANLP-03. An international workshop "Information
extraction for Slavonic and other Central and Eastern European
languages" was organised in conjunction with RANLP-03

In addition to the high quality scientific programme, both academics
and students from four continents enjoyed a versatile social programme
with many making new friends. The attractive mountain scenery of
Borovets, the numerous restaurants, pubs and discotheques of the
resort, the delicious food and drinks, the climate as well as the
absence of daily "high-tech stress" made the stay of all conference
participants even more enjoyable.

Galia Angelova, Ruslan Mitkov

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Announcement of EAMT 2004 Malta

A workshop of the European Association for Machine Translation will be
held in Malta 22-24 April 2004. The meeting is one of a series of
annual workshops acting as a forum for the exchange of ideas
concerning all aspects of machine translation within the European and
adjacent regions.

Special themes for this workshop will be machine translation and other
issues relating to Semitic languages, and translation issues arising
from the accessions of newly associated states of the EU. Papers will
be accepted on any aspect of machine translation and computer based
translation tools (e.g translation memories, etc.)

Local arrangements organiser is Mike Rosner (mike dot rosner at um dot edu dot mt)
from whom further details can be obtained. Full details and
registration will appear later on the EAMT website (www.eamt.org)

Mike Rosner

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Conference Calendar
cf. www.linguistlist.org for more!


October 3
Lisbon Portugal
Workshop on Tagging and Shallow Processing of Portuguese

November 14-15
V‰xjˆ Sweden
2nd Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories

November 22
Paris France
Role of Typography and Punctuation in Natural Language Processing

November 24-25
Paris, France
LangTech 2003

December 18,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2nd CoLogNET-ElsNET Symposium

December 19,
Antwerp, Belgium
The Fourteenth Meeting of Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands

December 19-21,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Fourteenth Amsterdam Colloquium


January 6-7,
University of Birmingham
7th Annual CLUK Research Colloquium

February 15-21
Seoul, Republic of Korea
5th International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and
Computational Linguistics
(CICLing 2004)

March 22-24,
Sanya City, Hainan Island, China
The 1st International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

May 2-7
Boston Mass., USA

May 17-20
Zakopane, Poland
Computational Linguistics In Poland 2004

May 24-30
Lisbon, Portugal
International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation

July 21-26
Barcelona, Spain
42nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

August 23-27
Geneva, Switzerland
The 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics