ACL 2007 Workshop on

Friday, 29th June, 2007
Prague, Czech Republic

Workshop Description
There has been a growing interest within the ACL community in extending the traditional focus on text and speech beyond the confines of natural language towards the inclusion of paralinguistic and non-verbal modes of communication, and beyond the confines of task-oriented language towards the inclusion of social and psychological variables such as attitude and affect. Studies of embodied dialogue systems, emotional expressiveness in speech, and personality detection in text are just a few examples of such research. These new extensions to computational linguistics have found a home in a number of different applications, from analysis of military videos to the development of Ambient Intelligent applications, where natural modes of interaction between humans and machines are envisioned that exploit the full bandwidth of human communication.

These studies in embodied language processing have close connections with other fields of inquiry such as Affective Computing and Embodied Conversational Agents. In all of these fields the many modalities through which we communicate besides language, such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, play a prominent role. These and other related studies of nonverbal language processing offer complementary insights to traditional work in computational linguistics. After all, human-human communication is inherently multimodal, and unimodal spoken communication is really just an artifact of communications technology, specifically the telephone ... so surely the mechanisms of speech and language processing need to apply not just to word sequences but to natural (multimodal) human language distributed over multiple input streams (speech, hand gesture, gaze ...). It is increasingly clear that integrating the theories, models and algorithms developed in areas such as these with work in mainstream CL, will lead to a richer processing model of natural communication.

Target Audience
Various and dispersed communities are pursuing the embodied language processing programme, each from its own perspective, background and interests. The aim of this workshop is to seek points of possible integration, i.e. to facilitate cross-overs, and to set a research program for the next several years.

Besides participants from the ACL community working on these topics, we would therefore like to invite individuals concerned with these same issues but who tend to present their work in other communities (affective computing, intelligent virtual agents, for instance).

Areas of Interest
Papers are invited on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • The automatic analysis of nonverbal or paralinguistic information.
  • Generation of nonverbal or paralinguistic information.
  • Analysis and synthesis of attitude and affect in verbal, nonverbal and paralinguistic forms of interaction
  • Data collection, construction of corpora, methodology, evaluation.

Issues to be addressed could include

  • How do we relate the representation of nonverbal and paraverbal information to traditional linguistic epresentations?
  • What is the role of social and psychological variables in linguistics?
  • How do algorithms for analyzing and generating non-symbolic forms of communication (iconic gestures, for instance) differ from the symbolic signs in natural language?

Submission Information
Papers should describe original work and should indicate the state of completion of the reported results. In particular, any overlap with previously published work should be clearly mentioned.

Submissions will be judged on correctness, innovation, technical strength, clarity of presentation, generalizability, and significance/relevance to the workshop.

Submissions should follow the two-column format of the ACL 2007 main-conference proceedings and should not exceed eight (8) pages, including references. We strongly recommend the use of either the LaTeX style file or the Microsoft-Word Style file, which can be found at

The reviewing will be blind. Therefore, the paper should not include the authors' names or affiliations. Furthermore, self- citations and other references that could reveal the author's identity should be avoided.

Submission will be electronic. The only accepted format for submitted papers is Adobe PDF. Papers must be submitted no later than March 26, 2007 using the submission webpage

Submissions will be reviewed by 2 members of the Program Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines regarding how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers for inclusion in the ACL workshop proceedings.

Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

Important Dates
Paper submission deadline: 26 March 2007
Acceptance notification sent: 20 April 2007
Final version deadline: 9 May 2007
Workshop date: 29 June 2007

Workshop Chairs
Justine Cassell (Northwestern University)
Dirk Heylen (University of Twente)

Program Committee
Julia Hirschberg
Michael Johnston
Anton Nijholt
Jon Oberlander
Mark Steedman
Matthew Stone
David Traum

Address any queries regarding the workshop to:
embodied @