CALC-10

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NAACL HLT Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Creativity 2010

It is generally agreed upon that creativity is an important property of human language. For example, speakers routinely coin new words, employ novel metaphors, and play with words through puns. Indeed, such creative processes take place at all levels of language from the lexicon, to syntax, semantics, and discourse. Creativity allows speakers to express themselves with their own individual style. It provides new ways of looking at the world, by describing something through the use of unusual comparisons for effect, emphasis, or interest, and thus making language more engaging and fun. Listeners are typically able to understand creative language without any difficulties. On the other hand, generating and recognizing creative language presents a tremendous challenge for natural language processing (NLP) systems.

The recognition of instances of linguistic creativity, and the computation of their meaning, constitute one of the most challenging problems for a variety of NLP tasks, such as machine translation, text summarization, information retrieval, dialog systems, and sentiment analysis. Moreover, models of linguistic creativity are necessary for systems capable of generating story narratives, jokes, or poetry. Nevertheless, despite the importance of linguistic creativity in many NLP tasks, it still remains unclear how to model, simulate, or evaluate linguistic creativity. Furthermore, research on topics related to linguistic creativity has not received a great deal of attention at major computational linguistics conferences in recent years.

CALC-09 was the first venue to present research on a wide range of topics related to linguistic creativity including computational models of metaphor, generation of creative texts, and measuring morphological and constructional productivity. CALC-10 provides a venue for publication of further research on these topics, and other aspects and modalities of linguistic creativity. 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 perspectives other than NLP, such as cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, the arts, and human-computer interaction.

Topics

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

  • neologisms;
  • creative use of figurative language, including metaphor, metonymy, personification, and idioms;
  • new or unconventional syntactic constructions (e.g., May I serve who's next?);
  • indirect speech acts (such as curses, insults, sarcasm, and irony), verbally expressed humor, poetry, and fiction;
  • other phenomena illustrating linguistic creativity (e.g., eggcorns such as once and a while for once in a while; new and emerging forms found in computer-mediated communication).

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;

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 demonstrated.

Invited speaker

Pablo Gervas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Engineering Linguistic Creativity: Bird Flight and Jet Planes

The achievement of flight by man is often used as an example of how engineering practice may lead to the succesful emulation of behaviours observed in nature. It is also used to illustrate the idea that a succesful engineering solution (such as a jet plane) need not always mirror faithfully the natural phenomenon which inspired it (the flight of birds).

The task of engineering solutions for linguistic creativity is at present made difficult by an incomplete understanding of how we manage language and how we achieve creativity. Nevertheless, over the past few years a large research effort has been devoted to exploring issues such as computational creativity, automated story telling, or poetry generation. In these cases, there is also a combination of a naturally occurring source phenomenon and a set of engineering techniques that provide an emulation of it.

In this talk I will review a number of such research and development efforts that I have been involved in or studied in detail, paying particular atention to identifying which traits of human activity are being modelled in each case. Assuming these to be the equivalents of bird flight in terms of linguistic creativity, I will go on to explore to what extent this analogy is a valid one, what the differences are between the two cases, and what the analogy might have to say about artificial linguistic creativity if it were valid.

Location

The CALC-10 workshop will be held in conjunction with NAACL HLT 2010 in Los Angeles, on June 5, 2010.

Dates

  • Dec 18, 2009: Call for papers
  • Extended Mar 1 Mar 8, 2010: Paper submission deadline
  • Delayed Mar 30 Apr 5, 2010: Notification of acceptance
  • Apr 12, 2010: Camera-ready paper deadline
  • Jun 5, 2010: CALC-10

Schedule

1:30–1:45 Opening remarks

Understanding creative language

1:45–2:10 Automatic conjugation and identification of regular and irregular verb neologisms in Spanish
Luz Rello and Eduardo Basterrechea

2:10–2:35 Mining and Classification of Neologisms in Persian Blogs
Karine Megerdoomian and Ali Hadjarian

2:35–3:00 Comparing Semantic Role Labeling with Typed Dependency Parsing in Computational Metaphor Identification
Eric P. S. Baumer, James P. White and Bill Tomlinson

3:00–3:30 Break

Invited talk

3:00–4:30 Engineering Linguistic Creativity: Bird Flight and Jet Planes
Pablo Gervás

4:30–4:40 Break

Generating creative language

4:40–5:05 An alternate approach towards meaningful lyric generation in Tamil
Ananth Ramakrishnan A and Sobha Lalitha Devi

5:05–5:30 Representing Story Plans in SUMO
Jeffrey Cua, Ruli Manurung, Ethel Ong and Adam Pease

5:30–5:55 Computational Creativity Tools for Songwriters
Burr Settles

5:55–6:00 Closing remarks

Workshop co-chairs

  • Paul Cook, University of Toronto (pcook@cs.toronto.edu)
  • Anna Feldman, Montclair State University (anna.feldman@montclair.edu)

Program committee

  • Kirk Baker, Collexis, Washington, DC
  • Roberto Basili, University of Roma, Italy
  • Beata Beigman Klebanov, Northwestern University
  • Amilcar Cardoso, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Mona Diab, Columbia University
  • Afsaneh Fazly, Shiraz University, Iran
  • Eileen Fitzpatrick, Montclair State University
  • Pablo Gervas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  • Roxana Girju, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Sid Horton, Northwestern University
  • Diana Inkpen, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Mark Lee, Birmingham, UK
  • Birte Loenneker-Rodman, Across Systems GmbH, Germany
  • Xiaofei Lu, Penn State
  • Ruli Manurung, University of Indonesia
  • Katja Markert, University of Leeds, UK
  • Saif Mohammad, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada
  • Anton Nijholt, Twente, The Netherlands
  • Ted Pedersen, University of Minnesota in Duluth
  • Vasile Rus, The University of Memphis
  • Gerard Steen, Vrije Universiteit,The Netherlands
  • Juergen Trouvain, Saarland University, Germany

References

Here are some recent papers related to the topics of the CALC-2010 workshop. Also see the papers from CALC-09.

And here are two papers on intriguing syntactic constructions in English: