Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Creativity
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 and references, 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, on June 4, 2009.
We are particularly interested in work on the automatic detection, classification, understanding, or generation of:
- 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.
A (non-exhaustive) list of recent references is provided below to further illustrate the range of possible workshop topics.
Nick Montfort, MIT
Submissions should describe original, unpublished work. Papers are limited to 8 pages. The style files can be found here: . 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  in the .PDF format.
We encourage submissions from everyone. For those who 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 (Please Note Extended Deadline)
- Nov 1, 2008: 1st Call for papers issued
- Jan 15, 2009: 2nd Call for papers issued
- Feb 15, 2009: 3rd and final CFP
Mar 5, 2009: Deadline for paper submissions Feb 27, 2009
- Mar 30, 2009: Notification of paper acceptances
- Apr 12, 2009: Camera-ready copies due
- ~ Apr 26, 2009: Call for participation
- June 4, 2009: CALC-09 workshop at NAACL HLT 2009
- Anna Feldman, Montclair State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Birte Loenneker-Rodman, International Computer Science Institute/University of Hamburg, Germany (email@example.com)
- 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;
- Mark Lee, University of 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-Champaign/Oregon Health and Science University;
- Gerard Steen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
- Carlo Strapparava, Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, Trento, Italy;
- Juergen Trouvain, Saarland University, Germany.
Here are some recent papers, related to the topics of the CALC-2009 workshop.
- Bruno Cartoni (2008): "Lexical Resources for Automatic Translation of Constructed Neologisms: the Case Study of Relational Adjectives." In Proceedings of LREC 2008, Marrakech, Morocco, May 28-30, 2008. A paper on a lexical resource for translating neologisms between Italian and French.
- Caroline Émond, Jürgen Trouvain, and Lucie Ménard: "Perception of Smiled French Speech by Native vs. Non-native Listeners: A Pilot Study.' In Proceedings of the Interdisciplinary Workshop on The Phonetics of Laughter, Saarbruecken, Germany, August 4-5, 2007, pages 27-30. A paper on the elicitation and analysis of smiled speech.
- Afsaneh Fazly, Paul Cook, and Suzanne Stevenson (to appear). "Unsupervised Type and Token Identification of Idiomatic Expressions." Accepted for publication in Computational Linguistics. An article on the automatic recognition of idioms based on their linguistic properties.
- Debora Field and Allan Ramsay (2006): "How to change a person's mind: Understanding the difference between the effects and consequences of speech acts." In Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Inference in Computational Semantics (ICoS-5), April 20-21, 2006, Buxton, England, pages 27-36. A planner that models bluffing, lying, sarcasm, and other problematic conversational situations.
- Saisuresh Krishnakumaran and Xiaojin Zhu (2007): "Hunting Elusive Metaphors Using Lexical Resources." In Proceedings of the NAACL Workshop on Computational Approaches to Figurative Language, Rochester, New York, April 2007, pages 13--20. A paper on metaphor identification in text documents.
- Ruli Manurung, Graeme Ritchie, Helen Pain, Annalu Waller, Dave O'Mara, and Rolf Black (2008): "The Construction of a Pun Generator for Language Skills Development." Applied Artificial Intelligence 22(9): 841-869.
- Nick Montfort (2006): "Natural Language Generation and Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction." Paper presented at the Computational Aesthetics Workshop at AAAI 2006, July 16, 2006, Boston, Massachusetts. An interactive fiction architecture, based on the narratological distinction between content and discourse (linguistic expression).
- Ruth O'Donovan and Mary O'Neill (2008). "A Systematic Approach to the Selection of Neologisms for Inclusion in a Large Monolingual Dictionary." In Proceedings of Euralex 2008, Barcelona, Spain, July 15-19, 2008. This paper presents tools supporting the detection and selection of neologisms for inclusion into new dictionary editions.
- Amruta Purandare and Diane Litman (2006). "Humor: Prosody Analysis and Automatic Recognition for F*R*I*E*N*D*S*." In Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Sydney, Australia, July 22-23, 2006, pages 208--215. Acoustic-prosodic and linguistic features for automatic humor recognition.
- Antoinette Renouf (2007). "Tracing lexical productivity and creativity in the British media: The Chavs and the Chav-Nots." In Munat, Judith (ed.): Lexical Creativity, Texts and Contexts, (= Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 58), John Benjamins, pages 61-89. A corpus-based linguistic study of neologisms.
- Mariet Theune, Nanda Slabbers, and Feikje Hielkema (2007): "The Narrator: NLG for digital storytelling." In Proceedings of the Eleventh European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 07), June 17-20, 2007, Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, pages 109-112. An implemented system that expresses formal representations of stories in natural language.
- Hans Wim Tinholt and Anton Nijholt (2007). "Computational Humour: Utilizing Cross-Reference Ambiguity for Conversational Jokes." In F. Masulli, S. Mitra and G. Pasi (eds.): 7th International Workshop on Fuzzy Logic and Applications (WILF 2007), July 7-10, 2007, Camogli (Genova), Italy, (= Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 4578), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pages 477-483. Distinguishing humorous anaphora ambiguities from nonhumorous ones to generate conversational jokes.
- Tony Veale and Yanfen Hao (2007). "Comprehending and Generating Apt Metaphors: A Web-driven, Case-based Approach to Figurative Language." In Proceedings of AAAI 2007, the 22nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vancouver, Canada, July 22-26, 2007. The paper presents a system that understands property-attribution metaphors and generates metaphors for a given target.
And here are two papers on intriguing syntactic constructions in English:
- Paul Kay and Charles J. Fillmore (1999). "Grammatical constructions and linguistic generalizations: The What's X doing Y? construction." Language 75/1: 1-33.
- Arnold Zwicky (2002). "I wonder what kind of construction that this example illustrates." In David I. Beaver, Luis D. Casillas Martínez, Brady Z. Clark, and Stefan Kaufmann (eds.), The Construction of Meaning, CSLI Publications, pages 219-248.