2013Q3 Reports: SIGMORPHON

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2012-2013 Annual Report
SIGMORPHON (Computational Morphology, Phonology, and Phonetics)
Jason Eisner


SIGMORPHON is ACL's special interest group for computational morphology, phonology, and phonetics. Membership currently stands at 142, up from 55/73/90/96/105/120/137 in July 2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012 respectively.


We held our 12th SIG workshop at NAACL 2012, with 9 of 15 submissions accepted, and 20+ people in attendance. The papers presented were of high quality, and generated a lot of interesting discussion. There was a fair spread of topic areas, although the phonetics/phonology end of the spectrum was not very well represented.

We have customarily held workshops in even-numbered years. In keeping with this schedule, we will propose to hold our 13th SIG workshop at one of the 2014 conferences. We are specifically discussing a joint workshop with SIGFSM at ACL 2014 in Baltimore.

Online Activities

sigmorphon.org serves the community by maintaining a mailing list and (outdated) online bibliographies at its website.

We believe that it might be useful for SIGs in general to maintain annotated or unannotated guides to the literature, if these can be made sufficiently accurate and prominent that they would be used. In 2011, SIGMORPHON experimented with producing highlighted versions of the ACL and EMNLP conference programs, which marked the papers relevant to our SIG. We emailed these to the SIG members in advance of the conference and archived them on the SIG website. Unfortunately, this was labor-intensive and required idiosyncratically hacking the HTML program for each conference. In addition, resources that are hosted only at the SIG website may be overlooked.

We would welcome some guidance and technical support for such endeavors. The ACL Anthology editor (Min-Yen Kan) has proposed in the past that each SIG could maintain a bibliography that linked into the Anthology. Alternatively, the SIGs might assist efforts such as Searchbench @ DFKI, AAN @ UMich, and Saffron @ Deri in identifying topical papers. In principle, topic identifiers for each paper could be produced as part of the conference workflow, especially as related information is already generated at several points in the conference process (authors select keywords, and then program chairs assign submitted papers to tracks and accepted oral papers to sessions). Thus, the final topic IDs might be produced by the program chairs, area chairs, and/or publication chairs. An alternative would be to use automated methods across the Anthology, such as topic modeling, semi-supervised learning, or simple keyword lists that could be matched against the paper abstracts.


Our current board's term will expire on February 4, 2014. In keeping with the SIG Constitution, we will hold new elections on the following schedule:

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (or sooner): Nominations solicited
  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013 (or sooner): Voting opens (for any contested positions)
  • Tuesday, February 4, 2014: Voting closes