12 February 2012

Gustavo Freire and Joel Walters speak at LARC/Acquisition Lab tomorrow

The LARC/Acquisition Lab will meet Monday,  Feb 13, at 5:20 in the Partee Room (South College 301) for the following two presentations.

"Experimental Ideas on Event and Indirect Causatives"
Gustavo Freire

"Codeswitching as a possible diagnostic in SLI"
Joel Walters
Professor at Bar-Ilan University

Everyone Welcome!

David Smith speaks at Yale

David Smith, from the Computer Science department, will give a talk at the Friday lunch series at Yale University on February 17. A title and abstract follow.

Efficient Inference for Declarative Approaches to Language

Much recent work in natural language processing treats linguistic
analysis as an inference problem over graphs.  This development opens
up useful connections between machine learning, graph theory, and
linguistics.  In particular, we will see how linguists can
declaratively specify linguistic inference problems, in terms of hard
and soft constraints on grammatical structures.  The first part of the
talk formulates syntactic parsing as a graphical model with the novel
ingredient of global constraints.  Global constraints are propagated
by combinatorial optimization algorithms, which greatly improve on
collections of local constraints.  The second part extends these
models for efficient learning of transformations between
non-isomorphic structures.  These noisy (quasi-synchronous) mappings
have applications to adapting parsers across domains, projecting
parsers to new languages, learning features of the syntax-semantics
interface, and reranking passages for information retrieval.

Call for papers: Formal Approaches to Heritage Language

The Language Acquisition Research Center at UMass will host a conference on Formal Approaches to Heritage Language on April 21-22.

They are soliciting abstracts for presentations or posters on both theoretical and acquisition issues that connect Heritage to L1 or L2 research. Priority will be given to work that addresses specific theoretical domains, such as, but not limited to: aspect, binding, quantification, movement, agreement, case, tense, and mood.

Abstract deadline: February 29, 2012

For more information, contact: Luiz Amaral, Barbara Pearson or Tom Roeper