November 4, 2008

CFP: Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Creativity

by Nick Montfort · , 12:52 pm


Boulder, Colorado, on June 4 or 5, 2009, in conjunction with NAACL-HLT 2009
Deadline for paper submissions: February 27, 2009.
Workshop homepage

It is generally agreed upon that “linguistic creativity” is a unique property of human language. Some claim that linguistic creativity is expressed in our ability to combine known words in a new sentence, others refer to our skill to express thoughts in figurative language, and yet others talk about syntactic recursion and lexical creativity.

For the purpose of this workshop, we treat the term “linguistic creativity” to mean “creative language usage at different levels”, from the lexicon to syntax to discourse and text (see also topics, below).

The recognition of instances of linguistic creativity and the computation of their meaning constitute one of the most challenging problems for a variety of Natural Language Processing tasks, such as machine translation, text summarization, information retrieval, question answering, and sentiment analysis. Computational systems incorporating models of linguistic creativity operate on different types of data (including written text, audio/speech/sound, and video/images/gestures). New approaches might combine information from different modalities. Creativity-aware systems will improve the contribution Computational Linguistics has to offer to many practical areas, including education, entertainment, and engineering.

Within the scope of the workshop, the event is intended to be interdisciplinary. Besides contributions from an NLP perspective, we also welcome the participation of researchers who deal with linguistic creativity from different perspectives, including psychology, neuroscience, or human-computer interaction.


The CALC-09 workshop will be held in conjunction with NAACL HLT 2009 in Boulder, Colorado.


We are particularly interested in work on the automatic detection, classification, understanding, or generation of:

* neologisms;
* figurative language, including metaphor, metonymy, personification, idioms;
* new or unconventional syntactic constructions (“May I serve who’s next?”) and constructions defying traditional parsers (e.g. gapping: “Many words were spoken, and sentiments expressed”);
* indirect speech acts (such as curses, insults, sarcasm and irony);
* verbally expressed humor;
* poetry and fiction;
* and other phenomena illustrating linguistic creativity.

Depending on the state of the art of approaches to the various phenomena and languages, preference will be given to work on deeper processing (e.g., understanding, goal-driven generation) rather than shallow approaches (e.g., binary classication, random generation). We also welcome descriptions and discussions of:

* computational tools that support people in using language creatively (e.g. tools for computer-assisted creative writing, intelligent thesauri);
* computational and/or cognitive models of linguistic creativity;
* metrics and tools for evaluating the performance of creativity-aware systems
* specific application scenarios of computational linguistic creativity;
* design and implementation of creativity-aware systems.

Related topics, including corpora collection, elicitation, and annotation of creative language usage, will also be considered, as long as their relevance to automatic systems is clearly pointed out.

Invited Speaker

Nick Montfort, MIT


Submissions should describe original, unpublished work. Papers are limited to 8 pages. The style files will be available here soon. No author information should be included in the papers, since reviewing will be blind. Papers not conforming to these requirements are subject to rejection without review. Papers should be submitted via START; more information on this will be available here as well.

We encourage submissions from everyone. For those how are new to ACL conferences and workshops, or with special needs, we are planning to set up a lunch mentoring program. Let us know if you are interested. Also, a limited number of student travel grants might become available, intended for individuals with minority background and current residents of countries where conference travel funding is usually hard to find.

Important Dates

* Nov 1, 2008: 1st Call for papers issued
* Jan 15, 2009: 2nd Call for papers issued
* Feb 15, 2009: 3rd and final CFP
* Feb 27, 2009: Deadline for paper submissions
* Mar 30, 2009: Notification of paper acceptances
* Apr 12, 2009: Camera-ready copies due
* ~ Apr 26, 2009: Call for participation
* June 4-5, 2009: NAACL HLT 2009 workshops


* Anna Feldman, Montclair State University
* Birte Loenneker-Rodman, International Computer Science Institute

Program Committee

* Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology;
* Roberto Basili, University of Roma, Italy;
* Amilcar Cardoso, University of Coimbra, Portugal;
* Afsaneh Fazly, University of Toronto, Canada;
* Eileen Fitzpatrick, Montclair State University;
* Pablo Gervas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain;
* Sam Glucksberg, Princeton University;
* Jerry Hobbs, ISI, Marina del Rey;
* Sid Horton, Northwestern University;
* Diana Inkpen, University of Ottawa, Canada;
* Diana Inkpen, University of Ottawa, Canada;
* Mark Lee, Birmingham, UK;
* Hugo Liu, MIT;
* Xiaofei Lu, Penn State;
* Ruli Manurung, University of Indonesia;
* Katja Markert, University of Leeds, UK;
* Rada Mihalcea, University of North Texas;
* Anton Nijholt, University of Twente, The Netherlands;
* Andrew Ortony, Northwestern University;
* Vasile Rus, The University of Memphis;
* Richard Sproat, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain;
* Gerard Steen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
* Carlo Strapparava, Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, Trento, Italy;
* Juergen Trouvain, Saarland University, Germany.

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