Reports to the ACL Exec: 1999


+-- received?
|+- representative at exec dinner?

Y+  President's report (Philip R. Cohen)
Y+  Secretary Treasurer's report (Kathleen F. McCoy)
Y+  NACLA (Marilyn A. Walker, Eduard Hovy, Sandra Carberry)
Y+  EACL (Donia Scott with Susan Armstrong and Mike Rosner)
Y+  Nominating Committee (Oliviero Stock, Mitch Marcus, Eva Hajicova)
Y+  Walker Fund (Anna Korhonen)

    2. ACL-99

Y+  ACL-99 Program Chair (Robert Dale, Kenneth W. Church)
Y+  ACL-99 Local Arrangements (Bonnie Dorr, Gina Levow, David Traum)
Y   ACL-99 Tutorials (Richard Sproat)
Y+  ACL-99 Student Session (Melanie Baljko)
Y+  ACL-99 Workshop Chair (Susan Armstrong)


Y+  Computational Linguistics Journal (Julia Hirschberg)
Y+  Computational Linguistics Book Reviews (Graeme Hirst)
Y+  Computational Linguistics Squibs and Comments (Pierre Isabelle)
Y   Cambridge University Book Series (Bran Boguraev)


    ??? Anybody volunteer a name?

Y+  ACL-2000 (Philip R. Cohen)
Y+  NACLA/ANLP-2000 (Philip R. Cohen)
Y+  Future ACL/ANLP Conferences (Wolfgang Wahlster)

    6. SIGs

Y+  General (Wolfgang Wahlster as Vice President)
Y+  SIGDAT (David Yarowsky) 
Y+  SIGdial (Susann LuperFoy)
Y+  SIGGEN (Ehud Reiter, Daniel Marcu)
Y+  SIGLEX (Martha Palmer) 
Y   SIGMEDIA (Elisabeth Andre)
Y+  SIGMOL (Aravind Joshi)
Y+  SIGNLL (Antal van den Bosch, Walter Daelemans, Michael Brent)
Y   SIGPARSE (Harry Bunt) 
Y+  SIGPHON (John Coleman, Stephen Bird)
Y+  SIGSEM (Patrick Blackburn, Claire Gardent)

    7. Organizations/Initiatives
Y+  ACL WWW page (Dragomir Radev)
    Computation and Language E-Print Archive (Stuart Shieber)
Y   NLP Software Registry (Thierry Declerck)
Y+  Text Encoding Initiative (Nancy Ide) [1999 will be the last time]



Elisabeth Andre         SIGMEDIA
Susan Armstrong         ACL-99 Workshops
Melanie Baljko          ACL-99 Student Session
Bran Boguraev           Cambridge Univ Book Series
Harry Bunt              SIGPARSE
Philip R. Cohen         President's, ACL-2000, NACLA/ANLP-2000
John Coleman            SIGPHON
Robert Dale             ACL-99 Program
Bonnie Dorr             ACL-99 Local Arrangements
Ehud Reiter             SIGGEN
Thierry Declerck        NLP Software Registry
Patrick Blackburn       SIGSEM
Julia Hirschberg        CL Editor's
Graeme Hirst            CL Book Reviews
Nancy Ide               TEI
Pierre Isabelle         CL Squibs and Discussions
Aravind Joshi           SIGMOL
Anna Korhonen           Walker Fund
Susann LuperFoy         SIGdial
Kathleen F. McCoy       Secretary Treasurer's
Martha Palmer           SIGLEX
Dragomir Radev          ACL web site
Donia Scott             EACL
Stuart Shieber          Computation and Language E-Print Archive
Richard Sproat          ACL-99 Tutorials
Oliverio Stock          Nominating Committee's
Antal van den Bosch     SIGNLL
Wolfgang Wahlster       Future Conferences, SIGs
Marilyn A. Walker       NACLA
David Yarowsky          SIGDAT


PERSON:                                             REPORT?   DINNER?

Elisabeth Andre (                         Y       -
Susan Armstrong (        Y       Y
Melanie Baljko (                 Y       Y
Stephen Bird (                         -       Y
Patrick Blackburn (              Y       -
Bran Boguraev (                      Y       -
Harry Bunt (                          Y       -
Sandra Carberry (                 -       -
Kenneth W. Church (                -       Y
Philip R. Cohen (                    Y       Y
John Coleman (      Y       -
Robert Dale (                     Y       Y (veg)
Thierry Declerck (                     Y       -
Bonnie Dorr (                         Y       Y
Claire Gardent (                  -       -
Eva Hajicova (             -       Y
Julia Hirschberg (               Y       Y
Graeme Hirst (                        Y       Y
Eduard Hovy (                              -       Y
Nancy Ide (                           Y       Y
Pierre Isabelle (        Y       Y
Aravind Joshi (                Y       Y
Anna Korhonen (              Y       Y
Alon Lavie (                          -       Y
Gina Levow (                        -       Y
Susann LuperFoy (                      Y       Y
Daniel Marcu (                            -       Y
Mitch Marcus (                 -       Y (veg)
Kathleen F. McCoy (                  Y       Y
Marie Meteer (                          -       Y
Martha Palmer (              Y       Y
Stephen G. Pulman (                     -       -
Dragomir Radev (             Y       Y
Priscilla Rasmussen (           -       Y
Ehud Reiter (                    Y       -
Mike Rosner (                         Y       -
Donia Scott (           -       Y
Stuart Shieber (                        -
Richard Sproat (                   Y       -
Oliviero Stock (                      Y       Y
Henry Thompson (              -       -
David Traum (                      -       Y
Antal van den Bosch (             Y       Y
Wolfgang Wahlster (                    Y       Y
Marilyn A. Walker (             Y       Y
Dekai Wu (                              -       Y
David Yarowsky (                       Y       Y (veg)

                                                               33 (incl 3 veg)

EMAIL LIST:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

*  1. REPORTS FROM ACL MANAGEMENT                                            *


Time of excitement but great change w/in ACL

Meeting is a major success - all concerned are to be congratulated!
1. Streamlining, bolstering,  and broadening ACL operations
2. Democratization
3. Internationalization
4. Protecting and expanding "ACL market"
Difficult constraint satisfaction problem 


1. Streamlining, bolstering,  and broadening ACL operations
General Problems: 
* Lack of "corporate ACL memory" - officers, conf. org., 
* Overwork 
* Rationalization of job roles 
* Missing job roles 

* Start v.p. earlier - V.P. in-waiting => Constitutional change 
V.P. in-waiting => v.p. => Pres. => Past pres.-4yr. commitment on Exec
* Separate Secretary & Treasurer roles ;  5 year terms; 
* Standing Committees 
* Finance 
* Conference
* Sponsorships
* Publicity  

2. Democratization 
Elect officials; ballots (electronic if possible) 

3.  Internationalization 

Name change - International Association for Computational Linguistics
Traditional acronym will be retained - "ACL"
3 chapters - Europe, NA, Asia 
NA is forming now - Sandee Carberry, Ed Hovy, Lyn Walker 
Proto-constitution; comments; vote scheduled 
Asia - still in discussion stage; many constituencies; ACL2000 intended 
as a catalyst

4. Protecting and expanding "ACL market"

CL is becoming more important to different disciplines --IR, Speech,
HCI, Web search, Cog. sci. ...

Many meetings. Is ACL meeting the need?  E.g., Why the spoken dialogue
meeting in Europe now? Why not SIGDIAL in the future? Themes->SIGs for
conference sessions?  Joint meetings w/other societies?


                        ACL MEMBERSHIP STATUS


1977      500                                             201
1978      444                                             218
1979/80   658                                             249
1981     1208                                             264
1982     1545                                             296
1983     1384                                             319
1984     1355                                             325
1985     1969                                             366
1986     1960                                             410
1987     2104             1786            318             454
1988     1959             1690            269            (408)
1989     2001             1729            272            (538)
1990     1932             1656            276            (564)
1991     2065             1744            321            (620)
1992     1991             1705            279            (???)
1993     1807             1503            297            (???)
1994     1699             1399            300            (???)
1995     1511             1255            256            (???)
1996     1336             1099            237            (???)
1997     1701             1395            306            (???)
1998     1577             1347            230            (???)
1999     1086              904            182            (???)



1987    63%       4%      25%     9%
1988    63%       4%      25%     9%
1989    57%       4%      29%     9%
1990    57%       4%      30%     9%
1991    53%       4%      34%                8%                 1%
1992    51%       4%      34%               10%                 1%
1993    46%       4%      39%               10%                 1%
1994    52%       4%      32%               11%                 1%
1995    47%       4%      36%               12%                 1%
1996    43%       4%      38%               11%                 4%
1997    47%       3%      36%               11%                 3%
1998    46%       5%      33%               13%                 3%
1999    51%       4%      29%               12%                 4%

                     Kathleen F. McCoy -- 6/24/99

Projected Income vs. Spending                           
Converted to base currency: US Dollar                           
1/1/98 Through 3/1/99 -- Projected -- 1999                              

                                                Projected        Projected 
                1998 Categories  1998 Totals    1999 Categories  1999 Totals 

Income Categories  
TOTAL OFFICE                     86,158                          150,998
Membership              68,776                  126,990 
Membership 3&5 Yrs       1,320                    8,420 
Dividends/interest/     14,776                   15,588 
Label Rental             1,286                        -         

PUBLICATIONS                     41,213                           39,662
Journal                 12,028                    2,830 
Proceedings Sales       29,185                   36,832 

MEETINGS                         13,674                           47,865
ACL99                                            35,000 
Previous Meetings       13,674                   12,865 

FUNDS                             2,425                            2,340
International Fund       1,250                      480         
Walker Fund              1,175                    1,860 

Total Income           143,470                  240,865 
                                                Projected        Projected 
                1998 Categories  1998 Totals    1999 Categories  1999 Totals 

Expense Categories                              

TOTAL OFFICE                     88,311                           97,537
Salaries                59,404                   58,313 
Other (rent,            28,907                   39,224 
  furniture, supplies)

PUBLICATIONS                     21,782                          165,471
Journal                      -                  148,768 
  partial 20:3-22:2;
  full 22:3 - 24:2
Journal --
  Salaries/postage/etc   9,420                    4,333
Postage/Supplies/       12,363                   12,370

MEETINGS                         47,501                           42,199
Earlier Meetings        14,929                        -         
99 Linguistics Inst      9,000                        -         
ACL'99 Advances         22,072                   12,199 
Advances for 2000                                30,000

FUNDS                             1,500                            1,500
Coling-ACL'98 Walker     1,500                        -         
  Fund Payments
EACL/ACL99 Walker                                 1,500 
  Fund Payments

Total Expense          157,594                  306,707 

Grand Total            (14,124)                 (65,842)

                    Real        Real        Real        Projected
                    12/31/97    12/31/98    2/28/99     12/31/99

                    414,464     400,340     302,821     334,499
Walker Fund Totals  22,889.59   24,217.19   25,544.64   


           Presented at Executive Committee Dinner; 6/24/99

Summary of Changes
1. Introducing the office of the Vice-President-elect.
2. Specifying a succession of offices from Vice-President-elect to
   Vice President, to President.
3. Specifying new voting procedures (including elections voted on by
   entire membership rather than by just those at the business meeting).
4. Specifying new amendment procedure.
5. Splitting the office of the Secretary-Treasurer into two positions:
   a Secretary and a Treasurer.
6. Changing the name to the International Association for Computational

Summary Justification 
- give the President time to understand the workings of the Association
  before taking office
- allow the election of officers to be done in a more democratic fashion
- recognize that the workload on a single person as Secretary-Treasurer
  is too much and that the association would be better served by having
  two people in that position 
- reflect the evolving nature of the society toward international

Constitution Changes

Current Section V. 1. - does not include a Vice-President-elect 
and specifies a Secretary-Treasurer. 


The officers of the Association shall be: a President, a Vice-
President, a Vice-President-elect, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. 
The President, Vice-President, and Vice-President-elect represent 
a succession of offices each held for 1 year. The Vice-President-
elect is elected by the members of the Association at the Annual 
Business meeting (or via an email vote) for a 1-year term. The 
next year, and with the approval of the executive committee, the 
person holding the Vice-President-elect position will become the 
Vice-President, and the one holding the Vice-President position 
will become the President. In cases where an individual cannot 
fulfill his/her succession through the offices, a replacement will 
be appointed by the Executive Committee until the 1st of January 
after the next Association Business Meeting where an election will 
be held to fill the vacancy (where appropriate).

Current Section V. 7. - nominates one candidate for each open 
position and stipulates voting to be done at the Annual Business 


Elections shall be conducted as follows: the Nominating Committee 
shall strive to nominate two people who are willing to serve in 
each position to be filled at an annual election. The Secretary 
shall, at least two months before the close of voting, mail 
(electronically when possible) to the membership notices of these 
nominations.  Additional nominations may be made during the first 
month after notices have been mailed provided that two members of 
the association second each such nomination, and provided that 
evidence is presented that such a nominee will serve if elected. 
After the 1-month period, the Secretary will mail an electronic 
(when possible) ballot containing the final list of nominees for 
each position. Ballots will be collected and counted secretly. Any 
nominee receiving a majority of the votes will be declared elected 
at the Annual Business Meeting. Those elected shall take office on 
the first of January following the vote and serve until succeeded.

Current Section VI Amendments - calls for the voting on 
constitution changes at the Annual Business Meeting.


Amendments to the Constitution must be approved by a majority of 
the Executive Committee or proposed by not less than ten members, 
have notice mailed to the membership at least two months prior to 
a vote on the matter, and ratified by a majority of those members 

NACLA (Marilyn A. Walker, Eduard Hovy, Sandra Carberry)

Report, 1999  
NACLA Setup Committee 

Sandra Carberry, Eduard Hovy, Marilyn Walker

The NACLA Setup Committee was established by the ACL Exec in 1998 to
form the North American chapter of the ACL.  The brief of this
committee was:
- to name the new chapter 
- to create a draft version of the constitution 
- to lay out a plan for creating the chapter 
- to participate in the planning of the upcoming NACLA conference 

1. Name 
The chapter was named the North American Computational Linguistics
Association (NACLA).  

2. Constitution
Starting with the EACL constitution, the committee made appropriate
changes.  The draft was to the ACL Exec in January 1998.  A final
version of the draft will be made public.

3. Plan for creating chapter 
The following plan has been adopted. 
3.1 NACLA formation 
- discussion of the NACLA, and if necessary establishment of 
a mailing list 
- a date for voting on any issues, should voting be required
- by Dec 99, ratification by ACL Exec of final constitution  
3.2 Election of officers
- calls for nominations at ACL-99 
- close of nominations by, say, Sept 30 
- ratification of candidates by ACL Exec 
- elections by email before Nov 15 
- announcement of new officers on Jan 1 
The Nomination Board is Carberry, Hovy, and Walker. 

4 NACLA-2000 conference 
On request of the ACL Exec, the committee nominated Janyce Wiebe of
NMSU to head the Program Committee of the first NACLA conference.

EACL (Donia Scott with Susan Armstrong and Mike Rosner)

Report from EACL

The EACL board met twice this year, once in Geneva, once in Bergen at
the EACL conference in Bergen. Issues discussed were:

* EACL Conference 
* Activities in Europe
* Role of EACL
* Administrative matters

The EACL conference was held in Bergen in June of this year. It was a
relatively small, but very successful conference. There were 175
attendees (lower than usual due to timing w.r.t. ACL and deadlines for
European project proposals). The tutorials and workshops were well
attended; over 50% of the registrants attended one of the
workshops. The somewhat longer paper slots (30 minutes) provided a
much appreciated platform for more discussion and interaction among
participants. Preliminary accounts show that the conference broke

An important role of the EACL board is to better support and
strengthen activities in Europe both in terms of research and
applications. One step towards this will be through a new format and
orientation of the conference to attract wider participation both of
academics and industry.

EACL has been strengthening links in Europe with other national and
regional organizations by establishing a board of affiliate members to
facilitate better interaction and communication in Europe.  The board
is also active in following and supporting the various educational
programs and initiatives in the field. A introductory course in
computational linguistics at the ESSLI summer school was funded by
EACL; in return, ACL attendees will receive a reduced registration

Donia Scott, as president of EACL, has been working actively with the
ACL exec to formulate and implement the internationalization of ACL.

A more detailed report (Minutes from the Bergen meeting of June 1999)
can be found on the EACL web page at


Rates of Exchange: CHF->EUR 0.626891      
                   FRF->EUR 0.152449

1.1.1998                    38,362

publications                 4,391
dues                         2,492
interest                     2,746
mail                           396
late fee                       121
funds                           24
bond repayment              50,151

total income                60,322


travel                         901
investments                 75,827
bank charges                   172

total expenses              76,900

31.12.1998                  21,783


Part 2: STATEMENT OF ASSETS 1995-1998 (IN EUR0)

                Swiss Current   French Deposit   Swiss Investment        TOTAL

31.12.1995         25,631           8,336             77,392            111,360

31.12.1996         24,848           9,107             90,072            124,027

31.12.1997         28,933           9,429             89,817            128,179

31.12.1998         12,791           8,993            113,669            135,452

Michael Rosner, Malta, June 1999

NOMINATING COMMITTEE (Oliviero Stock, Mitch Marcus, Eva Hajicova)

ACL Nominating Committee Report
Oliviero Stock

The Nominating Committee (Eva Haijcova, Mitch Marcus, Oliviero Stock
chair) had to make propositions while there is still some decision to
be made about the terms of the positions.

The two main options to be decided at the ACL meeting; are:

a) from year 2000 a president will be for two years. And so would be the
b) we go on as now, but with a vicepresident elect that before becoming
vicepresident stays for one year in the exec. This would not affect the
case of the vicepresident for year 2000 that becomes immediately

Of course, as tradition goes, the vicepresident becomes then president.

As a solution, after having consulted with the president, we have
decided to nominate a vicepresident and a vicepresident elect
irrespectively of the length of mandate.  All positions are since
January 2000.


Ed Hovy

Eduard Hovy is the director of the Natural Language Group at the Information
Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California, and is a member
of the Computer Science Departments of USC and of the University of
He completed a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) at Yale
University in 1987. His research focuses on machine translation, automated
text summarization, text planning and generation, and the semi-automated
construction of large lexicons and terminology banks; the Natural Language
Group at ISI currently has projects in most of these areas. He is the
author or editor of four books and over 100 technical articles.
Currently, Dr. Hovy serves as the President of the Association of Machine
Translation in the Americas (AMTA). He has served on the Executive Board
of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) and on the editorial
boards of the journals Computational Linguistics and the Journal of the
Society of Natural Language Processing of Japan. He has been program chair
for the past two conferences of AMTA in 1996 and 1998, as well as chaired or
helped organize numerous conferences and workshops since 1991. Dr. Hovy
regularly co-teaches the Natural Language Processing course at the
of Southern California, as well as an occasional three-days course on MT
at UCLA. He has served on the Ph.D. and M.S. committees for students at
USC, Carnegie Mellon University, the Universities of Toronto, Pennsylvania,
Stockholm, Waterloo, Nijmegen, Pretoria, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vicepresident elect
John Nerbonne

John Nerbonne studied Philosophy and Math at Amherst, and Germanic Philology
in Freiburg. He completed an MS in Computer Science and a P.h.D. in
Linguistics at the Ohio State University (1984), before joining the NLP
group at Hewlett Packard Labs from 1985-90, during which time he was an
associate at CSLI and an adjunct visiting professor in Linguistics and
Symbolic Systems at Stanford. He moved to the German Research Center for
Artificial Intelligence in 1990, and from there to his current position as
Professor of Computational Linguistics at Groningen in The Netherlands in
1993. He has worked on grammar and semantics, and on applications in
database interface, speech-language systems and computer-assisted language
learning. His current interests include applications of machine learning to
language, and applications of computational methods to dialectology. He has
served as Chair of the EACL (1997-98), chair of the HPSG standing committee
(1995-1998), and has been on the board of the Dutch NSF (Language, Speech
and Logic Area), and on the board of the European Foundation for Language,
Logic and Information.

Two other new members for the exec were required, in replacement of
Henry Thompson and Bonnie Dorr.

New members of the Exec:

Maria Felisa Verdejo
David Yarowsky

WALKER FUND (Anna Korhonen)

This year the Walker Fund had $1500 to award.  We received 18 applications 
from students this year. Eleven of the applicants had papers to present
in the student session; one applicant was involved in a workshop session. 
All were first authors of their papers. Six applicants did not have papers but
had submitted to the student session. Twelve of the applicants were going to 
attend the ACL and six the EACL conference. 

Roughly half of the applicants requested assistance for over US$1000;
the total amount of requested was US$16,873. The decision was
extremely difficult.  After reviewing them thoroughly, we decided to
split the $1500 that we have from the Walker Fund three ways and award
$500 to each of the three strongest applications.  We followed several
criteria in deciding which students should receive the awards (in no
specific order):

        1. First authors of student session / regular session / workshop papers
        2. Preference to 
                a. authors of student session papers 
                b. worst financial situations 
                c. applicants from isolated research groups 
        3. Balance between geographical areas 
           (Americas, Europe, Asia/Australia/NZ)
        4. Balance between ACL and EACL 
        5. Strong recommendations from advisors
        6. No preference to authors from committee members' institutions

We awarded US$500 to: 

Iryna Gurevych (Gerhard-Mercator-Universitaet-Gesamthochschule Duisburg,
Stefan Kaufman (University of Standford, USA)
Justin Picard (Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland)

In addition to Walker grants we also had 3 IBM sponsored grants this year.
Each award was $500 and we followed the above criteria in deciding which
students should receive these awards. We awarded the 3 IBM grants to:

Zvika Marx  (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)    
Burcu Karagol-Ayan  (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)  
Patrick Caudal  (University of Paris 7, France)

In addition, 2 applicants were given priority as volunteers in order
to gain a conference fee waiver from the ACL99 Local Organizing

Ed Kaiser (Oregon Graduate Institute, USA)
Sergey Pakhomov (University of Minnesota, USA)

Melanie Baljko & Anna Korhonen
ACL'99 Student Session Co-chairs

*  2. ACL-99                                                                 *

ACL-99 PROGRAM CHAIR (Robert Dale, Kenneth W. Church)

ACL 99 Program Chairs Report

Robert Dale and Ken Church

17th June 1999

1       The Program

For this year's ACL, 293 submissions were received.  Of these, 168 were 
submitted to the main session, and 125 to theme sessions, a new element of 
the program introduced this year. A total of 70 papers were accepted, 42 
from the main session submissions and 28 from the thematic session 
submissions; so, the main session acceptance rate was 25%, and thematic 
session acceptance rate was 22.6%. Some thematic sessions were cancelled 
because they had too few papers; shifting these papers into the main 
sessions meant we had 47 main session presentations and 23 thematic session 

The program itself consisted of 83 presentations in total:  3 invited 
talks, the 70 papers just mentioned (except that one dropped out at a very 
late stage, and a reserve student paper was substituted), and 10 student 
papers.  It might be useful to adopt EACL's tradition of always having a 
reserve paper in the proceedings for such circumstances.

Providing a detailed country breakdown for submissions and acceptances is 
hard because many papers are multi-authored.  However, a rough idea can be 
gained from the data we have on host countries of the contact authors. This 
gives us a submission profile of 138 papers from North America (47% of the 
total received), 93 from Europe (32%), 58 from Asia including Australia 
(20%) and 3 others (from Brazil).   With regard to accepted papers in the 
program, we have 38 from North America (thus 28% percent of submissions 
from that region were accepted), 21 from Europe (23% of those submitted), 
and 11 from Asia (19% of those submitted).  Regional breakdown for the 
papers that make up the program is as follows: North America 54%; Europe 
30%; Asia 16%.

All of the above information will be available at the Exec meeting in a 
more useful tabulated form.

2       The Process

Community-proposed Thematic Sessions were a new innovation this year.  We 
think it's a good idea, but we got some things wrong, and it needs some 
careful fine-tuning.  We look forward to receiving feedback on this aspect 
of the program in particular.

Reviewing was not blind this year, which attracted a small amount of 
critiscism. Reviewing was driven by a program committee of six, who 
reviewed the results of a total of 210 reviewers (of whom 112 were from 
North America [53%], 64 from Europe [30%], and 33 were from Asia [16%]). 
 For the theme sessions, these reviews were subjected to an intermediate 
level of review by a committee of 12 thematic session chairs.

We used hard copy for paper distribution and electronic mail for review 
submission.  Distributing papers by courier services imposed a high cost: 
at last count, we had spent around $3.5k, but the real cost is higher 
because substantial proportion of the distribution was covered by PC 
members' internal subsidies.

3       Things that went well:

Everyone involved, without exception, pulled together and did a great job: 
 the PC members, all the reviewers, Priscilla, and local assistance the 
chairs had at AT&T and Macquarie University.  A special thanks is due to 
Ken for hosting an excellent PC meeting at AT&T.

4       Things that went wrong:

Although there were moments of stress, there were no real disasters. The 
major problem was an absence of guidelines and institutional memory, which 
meant that some things only got done at the last minute simply because they 
were not even recognised as tasks earlier in the piece.  We would strongly 
suggest that the Web be used as a repository for historical information 
such as numbers of papers received, accepted and so on, possibly with a 
secure site for data such as budget information.

There was sometimes an unclear delimitation of responsibilities, which on 
occasions meant we had to ask the entire Exec for feedback on some 
decision---this is not an ideal means of decision making.

All of the problems we faced point to the need to have a well-documented 
set of procedures covering all aspects of the conference organisation.  A 
similar sentiment was expressed by the organisers of this year's EACL. 
 Constructing such a resource, however, is a task of considerable 
magnitude, and it would be worth considering allocating some resources to 

ACL-99 LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS (Bonnie Dorr, Gina Levow, David Traum)

The 37th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics 
is taking place at the Inn and Conference Center at the University of 
Maryland, College Park, June 20-26.  On behalf of the Organizing 
Committee, I want to express our pleasure in hosting this major event.  
It has been a rewarding challenge for every one of the local arrangements 

I am indebted to the tremendous staff support that has been provided, 
primarily, by the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (particularly, 
Cecilia Kullman).  In addition, this year (for the first time), the Local 
Organization Committee established four new chairships, something we 
recommend highly for future ACL events:

   Local Sponsorship Chair:  John White ( 
   Local Publishers/Exhibits Chair: Edna Walker ( 
   Local Demonstrations Chair: David Traum ( 
   Local Publicity Chair: Amy Weinberg ( 

We had two organizing positions beyond these (also recommended for future 
ACL events): Local Organisation Webmaster/Coordinator (in this case, Gina 
Levow, and Banquet entertainment (in this case, 
Philip Resnik,  Finally, we recommend that the 
ACL adopt a General Chair who oversees both the Local Area Chair (in this 
case, Bonnie Dorr) and the Program Chair(s) (in this case, Robert Dale 
and Ken Church).

Local arrangements for ACL'99 have included initial contact with the 
conference facilities (contracting was handled by Priscilla Rasmusssen); 
contracting for accommodations in dormitories and local hotels; 
processing dormitory reservations and payments; coordinating  exhibits 
and demos; maintained the local arrangements web site; designed and 
implemented interactive forms for on-line registration; compiled travel 
and hotel information and reservation forms for both web site and 
preregistration brochure; coordinating AV equipment;  selecting banquet 
facilities and coordinating all aspects of the  banquet including 
caterer, music, entertainment, AV equipment and buses.  Coordination with 
Main Programme web site, maintained by  Maria Milosavljevic, went very 

Some of the more time consuming tasks include the production of the 
program brochure, getting sponsorship logos that are fit for printing, 
and the dormitory reservations.  We were prepared to handle hand-outs 
about local directions, dining, etc, but were not aware that we were 
supposed to produce the entire program brochure until very late in the 
process.  We received the sponsorship logos late - almost too late to be 
able to order the bags and t-shirts - and several were not of reproducing 
quality.  There was poor coordination between the various ACL committees 
regarding the over-all color scheme, ACL logo, and sponsorship logos.  
The dormitory reservations were more complex and time-consuming than 
necessary due to constraints caused by limited dormitory space and 
discrepancies between the hardcopy and the webpage versions of the 
reservation form.

Besides a high-quality technical conference with two parallel sessions, 
the program includes 7 workshops, 6 tutorials, 20 demonstrations, and an 
exhibit area.  In addition, we are holding the banquet on Wednesday 
night, at the Galleria in Dupont Circle; we have arranged for a 
high-quality swing band and dance instruction.  

Despite some initial concerns about the close timing of ACL-99 to 
EACL-99, the number of participants has largely surpassed the most 
optimistic estimates, with 400 preregistrants (and 300 banquet ticket 

We have gathered information for, and designed layout of, a brochure 
containing all local ACL'99 information including the program, 
directions, dining options, entertainment, etc.  Other tasks have 
included designing and ordering bags, t-shirts and signage and obtaining 
corporate sponsorship logos for these items.  We have produced badges 
based on information provided by Priscilla Rasmussen and included tickets 
for proceedings, tutorials, workshops and banquet as appropriate.  We 
have also coordinated more than 30 student volunteers and produced an 
on-line volunteer schedule.

Sponsorship for ACL-99 has included University of Maryland (2000), 
Microsoft Research (5000), General Electric CR&D (2500), IBM Research 
(2500), Ergo Linguistic Technologies (2000), Sun Labs (2000), AT&T 
Resarch (1000), and Logos (1000), totaling 18K.

The publishers we contacted initially were: Blackwell Publishers, 
Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Morgan Kaufmann, Kluwer Academic 
Press, The MIT Press, Oxford University, Springer Verlag, and John 
Benjamins.  Kluwer Academic Press and Cambridge University Press will 
participate, although Cambridge's exhibit will be set up and manned by 
student volunteers.  John Benjamins will send books and flyers for 
display.  The MIT Press and Walter de Gruyter are also sending flyers. 
Exhibits will run from 9am-3pm/5pm, June 23-26.

This year, for the first time, we established a secure Web server for 
ACL-99 registration, something we recommend highly for future ACL events.  
However, we advise against using a secure server on a system halfway 
around the world (where you don't have an account!); the best situation 
is to have a local server on which the local arrangements committee has 
accounts.  Fortunately, the delays in setting this up did not seem to 
have a large impact on the number of preregistrants (see the numbers 
above) and the kinks were, ultimately, ironed out intime for ACL-99.

This year, despite a fairly late start, we will have 20 demos, presented 
in two different styles.  Probably the most difficult part of the demo 
chair responsibilities was the uncertainty involved with who would make 
which decisions and who to interact with on which matters (program 
selection, advertising, budget, AV/local logistics).  This will be 
alleviated by having a global conference chair who can help direct 
matters as appropriate. It would also be a good idea to set up a budget 
for demos well in advance, and choose a demo chair/committee early enough 
to have a call out in the fall, at roughly the same times as the other 
calls (though having the demo call still be open after the time in which 
regular papers had been accepted allowed for some people to provide demo 
adjuncts to their paper presentations).

The selection process for research demos was rather informal, checking 
only to make sure that proposed presentations were relevant and not 
embarrassing to ACL or the presenters (hopefully this will prove 
successful!). One issue for the future is to what extent a demo program 
should be blended in with the main program, either as an option on 
regular paper submissions, or separate reviewing committee track (like 
the student session), or remain relatively open, informal, and 
accessible.  It would not be strictly necessary to have a demo chair part 
of the local arrangements committee, for selection purposes, but there 
will need to be strong local arrangements involvement, to be able to 
capitalize on available A/V, internet, and computer facilities available 
locally, as well as coordinating these
issues on site.

Regarding publicity, Lee Tune of media relations at the University was 
contacted; he will send out a News Alert to local and national media 
about the ACL on Monday or Tuesday.  He will follow up with calls and
emails to get media coverage of specific events.

I hope you enjoy your stay while attending ACL-99 conference at 
the University of Maryland!

Bonnie Dorr
Local Arrangements Chair

ACL-99 TUTORIALS (Richard Sproat)

                Tutorials, ACL 99
                  Richard Sproat

Proposals for tutorials for ACL 99 were solicited by a public
announcement, and by a few private invitations. 14 proposals were
received by the December 1998 deadline. 

Of these I selected six tutorials, in consultation with Robert Dale
and Ken Church. The six selected ones are:

1. Computational Approaches to Gesture and Natural Language
   Justine Cassell, MIT Media Lab

2. Lexicography for Computationalists
   Adam Kilgarriff (University of Brighton) and
   Michael Rundell (Lexicography Master Class & Managing Editor,

3. Symbolic Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing
   Raymond Mooney (UT Austin) and
   Claire Cardie (Cornell University)

4. Models of Memory and Analogy for Natural Language Learning and
   Antal van den Bosch, Tilburg University

5. Spoken Dialogue Systems
   Bob Carpenter and Jennifer Chu-Carroll, 
   Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories

6. Probabilistic Models for Artificial Intelligence
   Michael Kearns, AT&T Labs

Full details can be found at 

The decision to go with six rather than the normal four was motivated
by two considerations. First, there were six proposals that seemed
worth having. Second, this seems to be an experimental year for ACL
anyway, what with the thematic sessions, and moving the workshops
between the tutorials and the main session. Note that if it turns out
that ACL loses money (or doesn't make as much money) on the tutorials,
it will be hard to assign blame: was it because we had more tutorials
than the market could bear, or was it because the tutorials were moved
to a Sunday (Father's day, as it turns out), two days before the
beginning of the main session?

One other experimental move was to have the tutorial materials
available via the web, rather than the usual boxloads of printed
materials that one typically has at tutorials. Five out of the six
sets of presenters provided their materials on the web, and Priscilla
is in charge of making sure that the web information goes out only to
the registered attendees. For the remaining tutorial, and for any
attendee who cannot access the web materials, hardcopies will be made
available. Hopefully this should save the ACL some money, not to
mention save some trees.

ACL-99 STUDENT SESSION (Melanie Baljko)

The co-chairs of the ACL-99 Student Sessions, Melanie Baljko (University of
Toronto) and Anna Korhonen (University of Cambridge) were nominated by last
year's co-chairs, Dragomir Radev and Maria Milosavljevic, and approved by
the ACL executive committee. The 16 student and the 15 non-student members
on the committee were chosen by the co-chairs from among the volunteers at
the 1998 COLING-ACL conference and from personal recommendations.  The
non-student members were approved by the ACL Executive Committee. No
special reviews had to be arranged this year. Of the 31 reviewers, 15 were
from Europe, 12 from North America, 1 from South America, 2 from Asia and
1from Australia.

Thirty papers were submitted to the Student Session and we accepted ten of
these. In addition, we were able to offer one alternative paper a
presentation slot. Each paper was assigned two student reviewers, and one
non-student reviewer. Of the accepted papers, three were in the area of
semantics, discourse and pragmatics, three were about statistical language
processing, two were in the area of spoken language, two were concerned
with grammar, parsing and syntax. 

Like last year's sessions, we decided to continue with paper presentations
instead of posters. We were also able to give students a full 25 minutes
each for their presentations. 


Total number of submissions: 30

Submissions by Country (based on authors' affiliation): 

USA 9           30.00%
France 7                23.33%
UK 3            10.00%
Canada 2        6.67%
Japan 2         6.67%   
Czech Republic 1        3.33%
Denmark 1       3.33%
Ukraine 1       3.33%
Turkey 1                3.33%
Italy 1         3.33%
Australia 1     3.33%
Spain 1         3.33%

Submissions by Geographical Area:

Europe 16       53.33%
North America 11        36.67%
Asia 2          6.67%
Australia 1     3.33%

Total number of papers accepted: 10 

Acceptance Rate:

63.64% North America
33.33% Asia 
12.50% Europe

Acceptances by Geographical Area:

North America 7 70%  
Europe 2                20%      
Asia 1          10%             

Submissions by Gender (subject to error):
63.33% Male
36.67% Female

Acceptances by Gender (subject to error):
Male 7          70%
Female 3                30%

Submissions by Topics:

1       Syntax and parsing      26%
2       Knowledge acquisition/extraction        6%
3       Generation      4%
4       Statistical language processing 6%
5       Natural language systems        2%
6       Discourse and pragmatics        17%
7       Grammar         6%
8       Semantics       10%
9       Corpus Analysis 2%
10      Machine translation     2%
11      Speech  6%
12      Other (specify) 13%

Accepted papers by Topics:

1       Syntax and parsing      21%
2       Knowledge acquisition/extraction        6%
3       Generation      -
4       Statistical language processing 17%
5       Natural language systems        6%
6       Discourse and pragmatics        21%
7       Grammar         6%
8       Semantics       6%
9       Corpus Analysis 6%
10      Machine translation     6%
11      Speech  6%
12      Other (specify) -

Melanie Baljko & Anna Korhonen
ACL'99 Student Session Co-chairs

ACL-99 WORKSHOP CHAIR (Susan Armstrong)

Seven workshops were held Monday and Tuesday prior to the conference
(6 at the conference center, 4 one-day and 2 two-day; one on campus as
a joint workshop with the IALL conference). The workshops were well
attended, as follows (pre-final statistics):
* Unsupervised Learning in NLP :  66
Org: A. Kehler, A. Stolcke
* Discourse/Dialog Structure and Reference: 77
Org: D. Cristea, N. Ide, D. Marcu
* Coreference and Its Applications: 56
Org: A. Bagga, B. Baldwin, S. Shelton
* Towards Standards and Tools for Discourse Tagging: 46
Org: M. Walker, M. Danieli, J.Moore, B. Eugenio
* Computer-Mediated Language Assessment and Evaluation in NLP: 20
Org: Mari Bromen Olsen
* Joint SIGDAT Conference on EMNLP/VLC-99: 134
Org.: P. Fung, J. Zhou
* SIGLEX '99 - Standardizing Lexical Resources: 70
Org.: M. Palmer

*  3. JOURNAL AND PUBLICATIONS                                               *


        Report for Computational Linguistics (June 1999)

                        Julia Hirschberg

Forty eight manuscripts were submitted to CL in 1998. Fifteen
manuscripts were submited to the special issue on Finite State
Techniques (guest editors Lauri Karttunen and Kemal Oflazer) in 1998;
two other manuscripts to this special issue were submitted in 1999; no
decisions have been made for this issue, accounting for the large
number of 1998 manuscripts still undecided for 1998.  Mean time from
receipt of manuscript to first decision was 184 days, down from 185 in
1997.  Type of first decision made for 1998 submissions is shown
below, and compared with previous years' reports at the time of the
annual meeting in the next calendar year:

        Disposition of Manuscripts as of Annual Mtg

                        1998          1997              1996

Submitted                 48            69                57
Accepted                   9            21                 9       
Rejected                   7            15                15       
Resubmission               4            27                26            
No decision yet           28             5                 6
Withdrawn                                1                 1

The distribution of 1998 submissions by country (by first author's
location) was as follows:

        Area    Country         Total


                New Zealand     1
                Japan           2
                Taiwan          1

                Total           4       


                France          5
                Germany         3
                Greece          2
                Netherlands     3
                Poland          1
                Spain           2
                Switzerland     1
                Ukraine         1
                UK              6
                 Total          24


        NORTH AMERICA           
                USA             17
                Canada          1       
                Mexico          1
                Total           19

                Argentina       1


    Computational Linguistics
    Book Review Editor's report
    Graeme Hirst
    June 1999


We are continuing to get most reviews published in a timely manner --
that is, within 12 months of receipt of the book.  This allows six
months for the reviewer (many take less) and five months for journal


I am continuing to be fairly strict in deciding if a book is to be
reviewed, but try to include all books that are in "core" computational
linguistics, as well as a variety of books from adjacent and overlapping
disciplines that are likely to be useful in CL.  We do not review
doctoral theses, conference proceedings, or workshop proceedings,
except if revised for publication as a book by a recognized publisher.


I am indebted to Nadia Talent for long hours of reading out loud with
me to check the galleys.


Report from the Squibs editor for 1998

The number of submissions in the category Squibs & Discussions was
very low in 1998: only 7 new submissions were received.  Moreover,
thus far there is no evidence that the situation will improve in 1999.
We are currently examining various options to try to alleviate this
important problem.


CUP/ACL Book Series "Studies in Natural Language Processing"

I should not make public, without consulting with CUP, data concerning
sales figures, print runs, and distributions.  The series is, however,
progressing on its agenda of seeking, and publishing, work representative
of the state-of-the-art in a number of topics of interest to the CL/NLP
community.  Feedback from sales suggests that interest in the community
is maintained at level similar to prior years; levels of sales are in
line with the types of scholarly books that have been published recently.

Below is an enumeration of on-going projects, at different stages of

 1. Books that were published since the last report
 *  Cole,R. et al. (eds.), 
    "Survey of the State of the Art in Human Language Technology"
     Note: This book won the 1998 PRIX LOGOS of the 
           European Association for Linguistics and Language.

 *  Bosch,P. & van der Sandt,R. (eds.), 
    "Focus: Linguistic, Cognitive, and Computational Perspective"

 2. The following new projects have been approved (Syndicated and 
    contracted) over the last period:

  * Busa,F. & Bouillon,P.,    "The Language of Word Meaning"
  * Carter,D. & Rayner,M.,    "The Spoken Language Translator" 
  * Kornai,A. (ed.),          "Extended Finite State Models for NLP" 
  * Wilks,Y.,                 "Machine Translation"
  * Sproat,R.,                "A Computaitonal Theory of Writing Systems"

 3. Other new projects that were Syndicated before last period, 
    but not yet have been announced to the ACL Executive:

  * Asher,N. & Lascarides,A., "Lexical Disambiguation in a Discourse Context"
  * Basili,R. et al.,         "Lexical Acquisition for Practical NLP Systems"
  * Carroll,J.,               "Practical Natural Language Parsing"
  * Ellison,M.,               "Machine Learning of Phonological Structure"
  * Kiraz,G.,                 "Computational Approaches to 
                               Nonlinear Models of Morphology"
  * Reiter,E. & Dale,R.,      "Building Practical Text Generating Systems"

 4. Books currently in production (and scheduled to appear in 1999):

  * Kornai,A. (ed.),          "Extended Finite State Models for NLP" >
    Note: This book is an interesting experiment, where a volume in a 
          book series is closely tied in, in a complementary way, to a
          special issue of a journal ("Natural Language Engineering;
          special issue on FS Models of Language")
  * Kiraz,G.,                 "Computational Approaches to 
                               Nonlinear Models of Morphology"
  * Reiter,E. & Dale,R.,      "Building Practical Text Generating Systems"

*  4. RECENT CONFERENCES                                                     *

[no report received]

*  5. FUTURE CONFERENCES                                                     *

ACL-2000 (Philip R. Cohen)

Early October - Hong Kong  
* Main conference - 3-6 October - Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center 
* Pre/post-conference workshops - HKUST
Local Arrangements: Dekai Wu

NACLA/ANLP-2000 (Philip R. Cohen)

April 29- May 3, 2000 
Westin Hotel, Seattle 
General chair: Marie Meteer
Prog. Chair- ANLP - Sergei Nierenburg - NMSU
Prog. Chair- NACLA- Janyce Wiebe - NMSU
Local  Arrangements:  
Rick Wojcik - Boeing; 
George Heidorn - Microsoft 
Call for Papers soon 
Papers Due: 


Report on ACL/EACL 2001

Wolfgang Wahlster

I posted a Call for Bids to Host the 39th Annual Meeting of the ACL
together with the 10th Conference of the European Chapter in Europe
(including neighboring countries like Israel and Turkey) on the web
and via email.  The proposal submission process is in two
stages. Draft proposals were due on 15 June 1999.  I received 5 draft
proposals from Edinburgh (UK), Hammamet (Tunesia), Heidelberg
(Germany), Prague (Czech Republic) and Toulouse (France). The
proposals together with a map of previous ACL-sponsored conferences
and COLINGs in Europe can in found at We
were pleased that there is so much interest in hosting the meeting in
Europe. The proposals offer a range of exciting possibilities.

After a first round of email discussion of all proposals by the
Executive Boards of ACL and EACL, the proposals were discussed during
the ACL Executive Board Meeting on Tuesday, 22 June 1999, where Donia
Scott and Claire Gardent represented EACL.

The decision was to ask Edinburgh and Toulouse to prepare full
proposals. The deadline for full proposals is 15 August 1999. After
another round of email discussions between the EACL and ACL Executive
Boards the final site selection vote will close on 1 September 1999.

*  6. SIGs                                                                   *

GENERAL (Wolfgang Wahlster as Vice President)

Report on the SIGs

Wolfgang Wahlster

The ten Special Interest Groups of ACL are the main forum for
technical work in the most important subareas of Computational
Linguistics. I think ACL can be proud of the level of activity and the
high-quality meetings organized by the SIGs. In fact, some of the SIGs
like SIGDAT are now organizing joint conferences, that have a
attendance similar to regular Chapter Meetings and are as selective as
the main ACL conference. We appreciate very much the work of the SIGs
and think that without the SIG activities ACL would be much less
attractive for its members.

However, from an organizational point of view there is room for some

- the portal pages on the web should become more uniform for all SIGs,
  so that ACL member can get a quick overview. There should be the same
  sort of information on each intro page (Logo, Goals, Officers, Events,

- a more consistent terminology should be used. Some SIGs have
  Presidents and Vice-Presidents, others have only Coordinators, some
  have only a Board, others list key members as "Others".

- The terms of office and the procedures for elections should be made
  more transparent and uniform in the SIGs.

- It should be decided, whether commercial ads are allowed on SIG
  pages and whether SIGs can have there on ORG domains.

- In the long run SIGs should have virtual accounts like the chapters
  to save any surplus from their activities for future events or

I feel that it is very important that we have many SIG events before
or after our next international ACL Meeting in Hong Kong. It is
important to note that all SIG events have to be approved by the ACL
Executive Board in order to avoid an overlap or unreasonable
competition between ACL events.

SIGDAT (Kenneth W. Church, David Yarowsky) 

                SIGDAT - 1999 Annual Report 

SIGDAT is ACL's special interest group for linguistic data and
corpus-based approaches to NLP.

In 1999, SIGDAT is organizing the 2-day Joint SIGDAT Conference
on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Very
Large Corpora (EMNLP/VLC-99). The meeting will be held immediately
prior to ACL-99 in College Park, MD, USA, on June 21-22. 
Pascale Fung served as conference chair and Joe Zhou as co-chair.
25 papers were accepted for presentation out of over 80 submissions, 
consistent with the typical 25-30% acceptance rate of SIGDAT conferences
and workshops. Invited speakers include Ken Church and Richard Schwartz.
A panel addressed the topic of "The Future of Language Technologies: 
Research, Development and Marketing". Lexis-Nexis provided industrial

EMNLP/VLC-99 is a temporary merger of SIGDAT's two thriving
meeting series, the Conference on Empirical Methods in NLP 
and the Workshop on Very Large Corpora, now in their 7th and
4th year respectively.

After our 1998 annual report was submitted, SIGDAT also sponsored
the Sixth Workshop on Very Large Corpora (WVLC-6) in Montreal,
Canada, immediately following COLING-ACL '98 (August 15-16). 
Eugene Charniak served as program chair. The two-day program 
included 26 full papers and invited talks by Jan Pedersen 
(on ``The Role of NLP in an Internet Search Engine'') and 
Ellisa Newport (on ``Statistical Language Learning in Biological 
Devices'').  The West Group provided industrial sponsorship. 

                  - David Yarowsky 

SIGdial (Susann LuperFoy)

(1) Brief History of SIGdial
SIGdial was created in the spring of 1997. During our first, formative
year we established a constitution, recruited officers and a 12-member
Science Advisory Committee, and appointed a Student Liaison to
coordinate our outreach to the SIGdial student community. Additional
liaisons were recruited to keep SIGdial members up to date while also
representing SIGdial in related organizations, including ESCA, AAAI,
ACM's SIGCHI, and ICSLP. We established a membership mailing list and
a web site complete with SIGdial logo (designed by L. Harper) and
announced our existence to the NLP and HCI communities.

(2) Web Site and Mailing List
During 1998-99 since the last ACL meeting our membership grew to 178
members. We have set up robust procedures and technical infrastructure
to manage our essential interaction. First, we converted our mailing
list to a listserv account with approval-based subscription and
posting by members only to prevent spamming. Next, we moved the
SIGdial web site from an experimental machine at Georgetown
University, to a more reliable machine inside the fire wall at
IET. This move was part of an overhauling of the site and a conversion
to database-driven pages for automatic updating of presented material
whenever databases get updated. We established a web-based membership
profiling facility so that members can encode their individual
information, and we experimented with a chat facility in continued
efforts to include all interested members in discussions while
minimizing the amount of email traffic to the entire membership. The
URL for our web site is

(3) SIGdial Endorsement of Discourse and Dialogue Events
The membership discussed options for judging the suitability of any
given event for SIGdial endorsement and arrived at the following
proposal. Rather than defining an elaborate set of criteria and
assigning a special committee to review each proposal against those
criteria, we decided that each SAC member would be asked to apply
their own criteria (which they would also be free to make known to
others of course), thus :

(a) a workshop description is presented to SIGDial, through the President

(b) The President presents the workshop description to the SAC with deadline for voting

(c) SAC members vote YES/NO deeming whether the workshop "has purposes and
content central to the SIGDial charter" based on their own judgement

(d) After seven days or as soon as all SAC members have responded, votes
are tallied by the President and workshop is officially accepted/rejected

(e) The result is reported to workshop organizers

(f) A SIGDial web page for "SIGDial Sponsored Workshops" having been
created, now links to the workshop web page. The calendar page is
updated by the Information Officer, and workshop organizers are
welcomed to list SIGDial as a supporter/endorser of their workshop in
their broadcast announcements.  Following this procedure, these
meetings have been endorsed by SIGdial.

1999 Meetings 
May 7-9 Amstelogue'99: Amsterdam Workshop on the Semantics and 
Pragmatics of Dialogue (Amsterdam,Holland) 
May 19-21 15th Twente Workshop on Language Technology: Interaction 
in Virtual Worlds (Enschede, The Netherlands) 
June 21 ACL Workshop on the Relationship Between Discourse/Dialogue 
Structure and Reference (College Park, Maryland, USA) 
June 21 evening SIGDIAL Business Meeting and Student Poster Session
June 22 ACL Workshop: Towards Standards and Tools for Discourse 
Tagging (College Park, Maryland, USA) 
August 2 IJCAI Workshop on Knowledge and Reasoning in Practical
Dialogue Systems (Stockholm, Sweden) 
November 5-7 AAAI Fall Symposium on Psychological Models of Communication in 
Collaborative Systems (North Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA) 

2000 - Calls for papers 
Submission Deadline 
April 15 Third Workshop on Human-Computer Conversation (Bellagio, Italy) 

2000 - Meetings 
March 20-22 AAAI Spring Symposium, My Dinner with R2D2: Natural Dialogues 
with Practical Robotic Devices (Stanford, California) 
July 10-12 Third Workshop on Human-Computer Conversation (Bellagio, Italy) 

(4) 1999 SIGdial Business Meeting 
Our annual business meeting took place yesterday, in conjunction with
ACL 99 at University of Maryland
Date: Monday 21 June
Room: 2110 at the Inn and Conference Center 
Schedule: 17:15-17:30 posters set up
17:30-18:15 poster reception with wine and cheese
18:15- 19:45 business meeting
19:45 - 20:30 adjourn to posters (and clean-up)

(5) Election Procedure
The SIGdial Election Committee, with help from the Science Advisory
Committee have developed the following plan for our first SIGdial
election. In the course of our discussions several important issues
were raised that may require changes to the SIGdial
constitution. Rather than delay the election for the deliberation and
ratification processes we will go ahead and elect new officers who
will have dealing with those issues as their first responsibility of

The election will be conducted electronically immediately following
ACL-99. We will allow time at the business meeting to discuss open
positions, duties of each office, and the election procedure. The
results of those discussions will be summarized to the mailing list as
part of the minutes for the business meeting.

Nominations Accepted: 8 June until 5 July
Ballots Announced: 12 July
Votes Accepted: 13 July - 27 July
Results Announced: 30 July

---------------- --------------
President 2 years
Vice President 2 years
Secretary 2 years
SAC Member 1 1 year*
SAC Member 2 1 year*
SAC Member 3 1 year *

* successor elected in 2000 for 2-year term

-------------- --------------
SAC Member 4 2 years
SAC Member 5 2 years
SAC Member 6 2 years
Info Officer 2 years

In this way, we stagger SAC terms so that each year we have a 50%
turnover and three SAC members persist after each election. This
means, the President takes office and appoints three new SAC members
in year n, while three additional (elected) SAC members from year n-1
remain until year n+1 when a SAC election replaces those three. So
it's just this special case in 1999 when we elect three SAC members
for a one-year term to bootstrap the process.

Current position holders until July 1999 are as follows.

President Susann LuperFoy 

Vice President David Traum 

Secretary Morena Danieli 

ACL Student Liaison Lisa Harper 

Information Officers Bonnie Webber 
Candy Sidner 
Sandra Carberry 
Jennifer Chu-Carroll 
Barbara Di Eugenio 
David Traum ICSLP Liason 

Science Advisory Committee 
Jens Allwood
Sandra Carberry
Jennifer Chu-Carroll
Barbara Di Eugenio
Masato Ishizaki
Johanna Moore
David Novick
Norbert Reithinger
David Sadek
Candy Sidner
Oliviero Stock
Bonnie Webber

Organization Liaisons
ICSLP Julia Hirschberg 
CHI David Novick 
AAAI Diane Litman

Bibliography Florence Reeder
Carol Van Ess Dykema
Susann LuperFoy 
David Traum
Marilyn Walker 
Rebecca Walther

Election Kristiina Jokinen
Susann LuperFoy
David Traum

(6) Evaluation Survey
We will circulate a survey to all members to solicit suggestions for
improving the SIG. This will include opportunities for critiquing
procedures and decisions that have been made in these first two years.

(7) Subcommittees
Discussion topics and potential subcommittees that will be carried
over into the new term include
(a) Should we have an annual SIGdial workshop? 
(b) Standardizing dialogue systems 
(e) Outreach to related communities (e.g., speech processing, CHI, etc.)
(f) Dialogue/discourse corpus and tagset development
(g) Software tools for coding or facilitating/supporting dialogue
(h) Research and system building
(i) Planning specific future specialized discourse/dialogue events
(j) Academic coursework/training in discourse/dialogue areas
(k) SIGdial service to the international community (S. LuperFoy) 

SIGGEN (Ehud Reiter, Daniel Marcu)

        Report on SIGGEN 98-99

An election for SIGGEN board was held in October 1998, via email.
There were 6 candidates for regular board member, of which 4 were elected,
and 2 candidates for student board member, of which one was elected.
The new board members are Irene Langkilde (ISI, USA; student member),
Daniel Marcu (ISI, USA), Maria Milosavljevic (Dynamic Multimedia Pty Ltd,
Australia), Ehud Reiter (Univ of Aberdeen, UK), and Keith Vander Linden
(Calvin College, USA). None of the new members had previously served on
the SIGGEN board.

Activities after the election include
* a new and expanded Web site (
* a new-look email newsletter (back issues available on the Web page)
* an open discussion (again via the Web page) on the future of the
  International Natural Language Generation Workshop (INLGW) and other NLG
Future plans include creating an archive of NLG material, both technical
(eg, an NLG bibliography) and organisational (eg, information on the
organisation of NLG workshops).

SIGLEX (Martha Palmer) 

SIGLEX Report - 1999 - Martha Palmer

The special issue of Natural Language Engineering that includes papers
from the Siglex semantic tagging workshop at ANLP97 is in progress.  The
revised versions of the papers have been received and are undergoing a final 
review process. Editors Martha Palmer and Marc Light.

SENSEVAL and ROMANSEVAL, were held at Herstmonceux Castle in early September,
1998.  There were 54 participants, 24 systems, 3 languages: 35 English
words and 60 French and Italian words.  Training data and test data was
prepared for the English words, basd on the Hector corpus, with approx 
200 corpus instances for each word for training purposes, and dozens of
additional instances for testing purposes.  The workshop participants were
quite enthusiastic about the usefulness of this exercise, and pleased with
the system performances.  The human annotator agreement was over 90% while
the systems approached Precision and recall figures in the low-80% range.
However, there was general agreement that the next evaluation should include
taggged running text, and that the sense inventory being used should include
sense distinctions with clear relevance to applications such as machine
translation and information retrieval.
The proceedings will appear as a special issue of Computers and the Humanities.,  and the
acceptance notices for the papers have just gone out.  Editors: Adam Kilgarriff
and Martha Palmer.

ACL99 is the site for SIGLEX99, the 6th SIGLEX workshop, 
In addition to papers we have working sessions for the discussion of samples of
sense tagged running text.  We are also discussing how WordNet could be revised
to make it more suitable for sense tagging purposes, and will be planning our
next Senseval around our conclusions, presumably Siglex2K.  We are also
continuing our discussions of American involvement in EAGLES, now know as ISLE,
International Standards for Language Engineering.  The new agenda for ISLE will
be extending standards for lexical semantics based on American feedback, and
including standards for linking entries in multilingual lexicons.
Finally, SIGLEX99 will be having a business meeting to discuss the election of
officers and the adoption of a constitution.

SIGMEDIA (Elisabeth Andre)


June 11th 1999

CHAIR: Elisabeth Andre (DFKI GmbH, Germany,

(administrative matters)


During the last period, SIGMEDIA has been involved as a cosponsor for
the following workshops:

- CVIR: COLING/ACL-98 Workshop on Content Visualization and Intermedia
  (Chair: James Pustejovsky, Venue: Montreal, Canada, Date: August 15 1998)
- ECAI-98 Workshop: Combining AI and Graphics for the Interface of the Future
  (Chair: Thomas Rist, Venue: Brigthon, UK, Date: August 24 1998)
- I3 Workshop: Behavior Planning for Lifelike Characters and Avatars
  (Chair: Elisabeth Andre, Venue: Barcelona, Spain, Date: March 9th-10th 1999)

There has been a slight increase in membership due to the links to the
Electronic Transactions of Artificial Intelligence (ETAI, Area:
Intelligent User Interfaces). SIGMEDIA and the Intelligent User
Interfaces Area also maintain a common webpage for conferences and
workshops now (see

Links to the European I3 Network (Intelligent Information Interfaces)
have been strengthened by the organization of a common workshop at the
i3 Spring Days in Barcelona, Spain (see above).

SIGMOL (Aravind Joshi)


Report submitted by Aravind Joshi

Current Officers:

President: Aravind K. Joshi, University of Pennsylvania
Vice-President: Larry Moss, Indiana University
Local Arrangements Chair: Jim Rogers, University of Central Florida

MOL-5 was held at Dagstuhl, Germany, August 25-28, 1997

MOL-6 will be held at University of Central Florida in 
Orlando, Florida, July 23-25, 1999 

Program Committee for MOL-6:

     Tilman Becker (DFKI) 
     Patrick Blackburn (University of Saarland) 
     Christophe Fouquere (Paris 13) 
     David Johnson (IBM Yorktown Heights) 
     Mark Johnson (Brown University) 
     Aravind Joshi, Co-Chair (UPENN) 
     Andras Kornai (BBN) 
     Uli Krieger (DFKI) 
     Natasha Kurtonina (Utrecht/UPENN) 
     Alain Lecomte (Grenoble U.) 
     Carlos Martin-Vide (GRLMC/Tarragona) 
     Mehryar Mohri (AT&T) 
     Larry Moss, Co-Chair (Indiana) 
     Mark-Jan Nederhof (DFKI) 
     Richard Oehrle (University of Arizona) 
     Fernando Pereira (AT&T) 
     James Rogers (UCF) 
     Giorgio Satta (Padua) 
     Walt Savitch (UCSD) 
     Mark Steedmnan (Edinburgh) 
     David Weir (Sussex) 
     K. Vijayshanker (U. Del.) 

Program for MOL-6


 6:00 pm   Opening Reception, Harley Hotel 


 9:00- 9:30 Generative Capacity of Multi-modal Categorial Grammars
                Gerhard Jager, Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft

 9:30-10:00 Some remarks on the geometry of grammar
                Marc Dymetman, Xerox Research Center

10:00-10:30 Partial Proof-Nets and minimalist representations
                 Alain Lecomte, UPMF, Grenoble, France

10:30-11:00 AM Break

11:00-11:30 A cubic Time Extension of Context-Free Grammars
                 Pierre Boullier, INRIA, France

11:30-12:00 Context Free Recognition with Weighted Automata
                 Corinna Cortes and Meyryar Mohri, AT&T Labs

12:00-12:30 Modularized Context-Free Grammars
                 Shuly Wintner, Institute for Research in
                 Cognitive Science (IRCS), U. Penn

12:30- 2:00 LUNCH Break

 2:00- 2:30 Relaxing Underspecified Semantic Representations for
                 Alexander Koller, Joachim Niehren, Kristina Striegnitz
                 Universitat des Saarlandes, Saarbrucken, Germany

 2:30- 3:00 On Conditional Information in Feature-Based Theories
                 Rainer Osswald, University of Hagen, Germany

 3:00- 3:30 A Quasi-Ring Construction for Compiling Attributed
            Type Signatures
                 Gerald Penn, Universitat Tubingen

 3:30- 4:00 PM Break

 4:00- 4:30 Taming Complexity: Constraint-Based Dependency Parsing
                Denys Duchier, Univeristy of the Saarland

 4:30- 5:00 Tabulation of Automata for Mildly Context-Sensitive Languages
                 Miguel A. Pardo, David Cabrero Souto
                 (Universidad de La Coruna, Spain) Eric de la
                 Clergerie (INRIA, France) 

 5:00- 5:30 Models of tabulation for TAG parsing
                 Mark-Jan Nederhof, Saarbrucken, Germany

 5:30- 7:30 Educational Session 
             Co-Chairs: Robin Clark, UPENN and Larry Moss, Indiana University 

 9:00- 9:30 Variables, interpretations and Quine-like combinators
                 Robin Clark, Dept. of Linguistics, U. Penn. and
                 Natasha Kurtonina, IRCS

 9:30-10:00 The Algebraic Semantics of Questions
                 Rani Nelken and Nissim Francez, Dept. of Computer Science,
                 The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

10:00-10:30 A note on a certain class of quantifier denotations in
            natural language
                 Robin Clark, Dept. of Linguistics, U. Penn. and
                 Tom Morton, Computer Science, U. Penn. 

10:30-11:00 AM Break

11:00-11:30 Generalized Tree Adjoining Grammar
                 James Rogers, School of Computer Science, University
                 of Central Florida

11:30-12:00 C-Command and Extraction in Tree Adjoining Grammar
                 Robert Frank (Dept. of Cognitive Science, Johns
                 Hopkins) Seth Kulick (IRCS), K. Vijay-Shanker
                 (U. Delaware) 

12:00-12:30 Exploring the Underspecified World of Lexicalized
            Tree Adjoining Grammars
                 K. Vijay-Shanker (U. Del), David Weir (Univ. of

12:30- 2:00 LUNCH Break

 2:00- 2:30 Context-sensitive node admissibility revisited
                Dick Oehrle, Department of Linguistics and
                Cognitive Science program, University of Arizona

 2:30- 3:00 Synchronous Parallelism Between Different Grammar Formalisms
                Mark Dras, Dept. of Computing, Macquarie University, Australia

 3:00- 3:30 A Dynamic Event Semantics for the Analysis of Verbs and
            Voice-Affixes in Tagalog
                Ralf Naumann, Anja Latrouite, Seminar fur
                Algemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Germany

 3:30- 4:00 PM Break

 4:00- 4:30 Regular Description of Cross-Serial Dependencies
                Hans-Peter Kolb, Uwe Moennich, and Frank Morawietz
 4:30- 5:00 Propositional Tense Logic for Trees
                Adi Palm, Dept. of General Linguistics, Univ. of Passau

 5:00- 5:30 The Horn Subset of systemic networks
                Jo Calder, HCRC, University of Edinburgh

 7:00 pm    Banquet Dinner and Business Meeting, Harley Hotel 

 9:30-10:00 Contextual Automata
                 Carlos Martin-Vide, Research Group on Mathematical Linguistics
                 and Language Engineering, Spain

10:00-10:30 A Polynomial Parser for Contextual Grammars
                 Karin Harbusch, Univ. of Koblenz-Landau, Germany

10:30-11:00 Combing Contextual Grammars and Tree Adjoining Grammars
                 Martin Kappes, Fachbereich Informatik, Johann
                 Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat, Germany

11:00-11:30 AM Break

11:30-12:00 Zipf's law outside the middle range
                 Andras Kornai, HAS Institute of Linguistics

12:00-12:30 A Selectionist Model of Language Acquisition
                 Charles Yang, AI Lab MIT and Sam Gutmann,
                 Dept. of Mathematics, Northeastern Univ.  ILLC,
                 University of Amsterdam

12:30- 1:00 A Local Maxima method and a Fair Dispersion Normalization for
            extracting multi-word units from corpora
                 Jaoquim Ferreira de Silva and Gabriel Pereira
                 Lopes, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

SIGNLL (Antal van den Bosch, Walter Daelemans, Michael Brent)

ACL SIGNLL - President and Secretary's Report 1999

In 1998-9, SIGNLL has grown from 290 to 315 members and our web pages
are relatively frequently browsed (5 to 10 external hits per
day). Joining SIGNLL is possible via the SIGNLL home page located at
URL (an ACL alias, thanks to Dragomir
Radev - the local URL is The membership
of SIGNLL is diverse both in nationality and in research area
indicated (psychology, linguistics, machine learning, computational
linguistics, grammar induction, and other more peripheral areas).

Last year's complete update of the web pages has provided more ease for
members to add, update, and remove membership records themselves, with
minimal supervision by the SIGNLL website administrator.  Apart from
the membership pages, the site continuously offers the latest
information on SIGNLL-sponsored and related events, and hosts a
comprehensive and updated list of links to relevant assocations, networks,
research cooperations, research departments, groups, institutes,
individuals, mailing lists, archives, journals, bulletins, conference
reports, online papers, online courses and slides, bibliographies,
software, corpora, companies, meta-information sources etc.
Information relevant to the NLL community is regularly distributed
through an email list derived from the membership records.

SIGNLL has through its officebearers continued working on its goal of
bringing the Natural Language Learning (NLL) community together by
being involved in the organization and sponsoring of events. The main
event this year was the third CoNLL, organized in the context of the
EACL'99, the European Chapter of the ACL's conference held in Bergen,
Norway, June 1999. Erik Tjong Kim Sang (U. of Antwerpen, former
Information Officer of SIGNLL) and Miles Osborne (U. of Groningen)
chaired the successful CoNLL workshop, which drew an actively
participating audience of about 40. It remains our intention to let
CoNLL become an annual conference with its own workshops and
tutorials, bringing together a large number of researchers working in
the intersection of language and learning. As a sidenote, we mention
that chairs Tjong Kim Sang and Osborne are both postdoc researchers
financed by the Esprit TMR (Training and Mobility of Researchers)
programme "Learning Computational Grammar" --a theme central to
SIGNLL's area of interest-- which was initiated in 1999 by a group of
researchers partly composed of SIGNLL members (including Secretary
Walter Daelemans).

We think SIGNLL is still unique in its multiple focus (computational
models of language learning both for language engineering and for
testing psycholinguistic and linguistic theories; formal and empirical
aspects of learning of both artificial and natural languages).
However, we are aware of the enormous competition of conferences and
workshops addressing similar issues, though in a less integrated and
multidiciplinary way (EMNLP/VLC, NeMLaP, ICGI, Computational
Psycholinguistics, and also the mainstream CL and ML conferences).  We
will therefore continue to piggypack or colocate CoNLL with other
relevant events and to investigate whether combining or even merging
CoNLL with other events is feasible and advisable.

Michael Brent
Walter Daelemans
Tilburg, 22 June 1999

SIGPARSE (Harry Bunt) 

1998-'99 report from SIGPARSE

Over the period June 1998 - June 1999, as usual, the activities 
of SIGPARSE have focussed on matters concerning the biennial 
`International Workshop on Parsing Technologies' (IWPT) series.

Preparations have started for the publication of an edited selection 
of papers, presented at the Fifth International Workshop on Parsing 
Technologies (IWPT'97) which was held in Cambridge, Mass., September 
17-21, 1997. This book is to be a sequel to the two volumes that 
were published earlier, based on workshops in the IWPT series: 
"Current Issues in Parsing Technology" (Masaru Tomita, ed.; Kluwer, 
Boston/Dordrecht 1991) and "Recent Advances in Parsing Technology" 
(Harry Bunt and Masaru Tomita, eds.; Kluwer, Boston/Dordrecht 1996). 
For the new volume, Harry Bunt and Anton Nijholt (general chair and 
program chair of IWPT'97, respectively) have made a selection of the 
papers published in the workshop proceedings. The corresponding book 
proposal is currently under review at Kluwer, with an expected positive 

The next, Sixth International Workshop on Parsing Technologies 
(IWPT'99) will be held in Trento, Italy. The organization is in 
the hands of Harry Bunt, general chair; John Carroll, program chair, 
and Alberto Lavelli, local arrangements chair. It was recently decided 
to move the workshop dates from December 20-22, 1999 to February 23-25, 
2000, since the proximity of the original dates with the millenium 
change was felt to be inconvenient. 

During the period reported here, Harry Bunt (Tilburg University) has 
continued as SIGPARSE officer. Alon Lavie at CMU has been most helpful 
in continuing to maintain the active SIGPARSE email list 
(`'). A SIGPARSE website has been set up 
and maintained at the Department of Computer Science at the University 
of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. This site can be found at 

Harry Bunt.

SIGPHON (John Coleman) 

SIGPHON has elected a new executive committee:

Steven Bird, Secretary
John Coleman, President
Alain Theriault, Liaison Rep 
Jason Eisner 
Dan Jurafsky 
Lauri Kartunnen 

SIGPHON is currently considering its next workshop. In order to 
build stronger links with the theoretical phonology community, it
is expected that this will be separate from an ACL meeting. Preparation
of a book building on some of the papers from previous SIGPHON meetings
and documenting the state of the art in computational phonology is
also currently being planned.

SIGSEM (Patrick Blackburn, Claire Gardent)

Report on SIGSEM

Patrick Blackburn and Claire Gardent

The idea of establishing SIGSEM, an ACL special interest group in
computational semantics, was first proposed towards the end of 1998 by
the authors of this report.  Preliminary inquiries indicated that the
idea was of interest to many researchers (we received more than 100
responses, many highly enthusiastic).  The proposal was further
discussed at the 3rd International Workshop on Computational Semantics
(IWCS), which was held in Tilburg in January 1999.  At a well-attended
meeting, the consensus was that it was worthwhile trying to establish
such a SIG.

Accordingly, a draft constitution was prepared, circulated to
prospective members for comments, and (about two months later) changed
in the light of suggestion received and submitted to the ACL for
approval. Approval was recently granted, and we are currently
organising the first SIGSEM elections, and are about to start a
membership drive.

As regards the elections, Ewan Klein has recently agreed to act as an
"honest broker" for the first elections.  That is, he has agreed to
receive nominations, announce the candidates, and collect and count
votes. The exact timetable is still being discussed with him, but we
hope to have completed the entire election process by the end of
October 1999.

As regards the membership drive, during the ESSLLI summer school
(which will be held in Utrecht) a one day workshop on Inference in
Computational Semantics (ICoS) is being organised in Amsterdam. We
expect this will attract a number of summer school participants, and
will take the opportunity to further publicise SIGSEM. The longer term
prospects are also good. For example, Harry Bunt, the founder of the
IWCS (which until recently was the only event exclusively devoted to
computational semantics) has expressed his support for the new SIG and
volunteered assistance in a number of ways (such as organising a web
site). Thus SIGSEM should be able to establish a useful presence
relatively quickly.

While it is early days yet, we are confident that SIGSEM will provide
a useful forum for computational linguists interested in semantics.
Both in Europe and America there are clear signs that a new generation
of researchers interested in semantical issues is
emerging. Interesting new work is appearing and (in Europe) a number
of EU research proposals of direct relevance to SIGSEM have been
submitted to the European commission (under the new "Fifth Framework"
program).  We hope that SIGSEM will build on such developments to
become a genuinely international forum for computational semantics.

*  7. ORGANIZATIONS/INITIATIVES                                              *

ACL WWW PAGE (Dragomir Radev)

            The ACL Internet site (

                     July 1, 1998 - June 10, 1999

                     Report by Dragomir R. Radev


o   The ACL Web site has become significantly more popular after the 
    acquisition of the ACLWEB domain name. From July 1, 1998 to June 9, 
    1999, the top-level page has been accessed 80,943 times. That is an 
    average of 271 hits (accesses) per day (or an increase of 21.5% over
    last year).  


o   The ACL NLP/CL Universe, the catalog of Web-based NLP/CL resources, has
    grown at a steady rate. Since last year there has been an 9.1%
    increase in the number of pointers, bringing their total from 1754
    to 1913. There are now 303 personal pages, 476 pointers to various
    resources (corpora, software, etc.), 306 academic or industrial labs,
    departments, and institutes, etc. 


o   The mailing list acl-news is used to announce new additions to the
    NLP/CL Universe. Currently, the list includes 435 subscribers (a
    44.5% increase from last year). The list is posted automatically
    to the only NLP-related newsgroup on Usenet - In
    the last eleven months, the newsletter appeared seven times.

o   The unofficial Natural Language Processing FAQ (list of Frequently
    Asked Questions and Answers) is still available through the ACL page.
    Volunteers are sought to contribute to the list. A new release of
    the FAQ is planned for the summer of 1999.

o   The ACL office has now persistent E-mail addresses: 

o   The NLP/CL Dissertation page is about to be announced publicly. 
    Stay tuned!

o   The Web site will soon feature a facility for ACL membership
    updates and material ordering. The site will be functional in July. 


o   ACL members should make an attempt to announce all events,
    resources, or personal and lab pages to the site using
    the on-line URL submission mechanism.

Please feel free to send me mail with suggestions, comments, or offers


[no report received]


The 4th edition of the Natural Language Software Registry
(Thierry Declerck and Alexander Werner Jachmann, DFKI Saarbruecken)

In the following short text we will report on recent activities
related to the Natural Language Software Registry (NLSR), an
initiative of ACL hosted at DFKI.

The NLSR offers a concise summary of the capabilities of language
processing software available to researchers. It comprises academic,
commercial and proprietary software with theory, specifications and
terms on which it can be acquired clearly indicated. The actual
version can be accessed at following address:

Due to the fact that some functionalities had to be added to the
actual edition, and that we also wanted to radically update the
taxonomy of the products to be submitted, we decided to work on a new
edition of the NLSR. This edition (the 4th) will be very soon
delivered and some public announcements will be made.

The two most salient modifications of the NLSR are on the one hand the
design and implementation of a database allowing standard queries to
the software listed in the Registry. With this he user will be able to
access the information contained in the ACL Registry not only by
browsing, but also by querying: it will be for example possible to
query for all freely available morphological analyzer for Spanish
running on a specific platform. This will reduce considerably the
consultation time.

On the other hand we have designed a new classification for the NL
products to be submitted. This classification aims at better
reflecting the state of the art in NL processing. The new taxonomy is
among others based on the book ``Survey of the State of the Art in the
Human Language Technology'' ed. by G.B. Varile and A. Zampolli,
Linguistica Computazionale, volume XII - XIII.

Apart of this we have been adding some functionalities, so for example
checking the actuality of some entries (the actual version contain a
certain amount of no longer available or not updated products). In the
4th edition the user will also find a unified presentation of all
listed products (there are actually still some entries displayed in
the format of previous editions).

We also have put some effort in easing the maintenance of the NLSR, so
that new entries can be very fast checked on their relevance for the
NLSR and added to the Registry.

We are actually working on a new design for the Web pages and we hope
to deliver the 4th Edition before the ACL conference.

The work of the NLSR has been presented at the EPSRC Workshop on NLP
Architectures and Language Resources (Baslow, December 1998). This
Workshop also offered to the Registry Team the opportunity to exchange
informations with related initiatives and projects. Furhter an
exchange of experience and information with ELRA in Paris has taken
place in March 1999.

The 4th Edition has been produced by the Language Technology Lab. of
the DFKI inc. under the direction of Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit.
Currently involved researchers and research assistants are Thierry
Declerck (contact person) and Alexander Werner Jachmann.

Recent discussions with members of the NLP community have raised the
question of "programmatic access" to some products listed in the NLSR
(within a general NLP architecture). This point is very interesting,
but for sure this would require some concertations with the concerned


A new consortium has been formed for the maintenance and continuing
work of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). The TEI is an
international project to develop guidelines for the encoding of
textual material in electronic form for research purposes; until now,
it had been organized as a simple cooperative effort of the three
sponsors, and funded solely by grant funds. Now four universities have
agreed to serve as hosts for the new consortium, and the three
organizations which founded the TEI and have governed it until now
have agreed to transfer the responsibility for maintaining and
revising the TEI Guidelines to the new consortium. See the "Consortium
Agreement" below for detailed description of the plans for the
consortium; information on how to join, on services for members, and
on how to participate as a member or non-member, coming soon.

The full text of the agreement is found at