2017Q3 Reports: SIGMORPHON

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2016-2017 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 167, up from 55/73/90/96/105/120/137/142/144/150/157 in July 2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016 respectively.


We held our 14th SIG workshop at ACL 2016, chaired by Micha Elsner and Sandra Kübler. It received 23 paper submissions and featured our first Shared Task (see below). Note that we customarily hold workshops in even-numbered years.

Shared Tasks

SIGMORPHON offered its first shared task in 2016, on morphological reinflection. The task is to alter an inflected verb to express different morphological properties, for example, converting the string ran to running or the string digo to dirás. This requires both analysis and synthesis of inflected verb forms. Systems were evaluated on 3 metrics across 10 languages: Arabic, Finnish, Georgian, German, Navajo, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and two surprise languages, Hungarian and Maltese. Different tracks allowed different amounts or types of training data. The shared task received 11 systems from 9 teams. An overview paper as well as individual system description papers appeared in the workshop proceedings. The shared task website is at [1], including datasets that can be used by others. Thanks to Ryan Cotterell and Jason Eisner for designing the shared task, and to Mans Hulden, Ryan Cotterell, Christo Kirov, John Sylak-Glassman, and David Yarowsky for organizing the competition and preparing datasets.

The second edition was the CoNLL-SIGMORPHON shared task at CoNLL 2017, on universal morphological reinflection. This expanded the competition to 52 typologically diverse languages, and evaluated performance with varying amounts of training data. The shared task received 24 system submissions, of which 23 used neural networks. Again, an overview paper as well as individual system description papers appeared in the workshop proceedings. The shared task website is at [2], and we expect that the datasets will be widely used for string-to-string transduction problems. Thanks to the above co-organizers as well as new contributors Géraldine Walther, Ekaterina Vylomova, Patrick Xia, and Manaal Faruqui.

Online Activities

We have recently harvested metadata for hundreds of relevant papers that appeared in the ACL Anthology from 2011-2016. After updating this with 2017 papers, we plan to use this list for a membership drive. Many of the authors are not current SIG members. We hope that this will increase activity on the mailing list and participation in the workshop.

We may also release a bibliography of these papers. We hope that at some point, the ACL Anthology will begin to suport topic IDs on papers, to facilitate topical browsing and search; see our thoughts on this at 2015Q3 Reports: SIGMORPHON.


We elected new officers in February 2017. They are listed on the home page of the SIG's website, [3]. Our next election is scheduled for the end of 2018.