Call for Papers (Open)

The currently prevailing statistical paradigm has made possible major achievements in many areas of natural language processing. But since the methods employed critically depend on the availability of large training corpora, the applicability of these methods is generally limited to major languages / standard varieties, to the exclusion of dialects or varieties that substantially differ from the standard.

However, language varieties (and specifically dialects) are a primary means of expressing a person's social affiliation and identity. Hence, computer systems that can adapt to the user by displaying a familiar socio-cultural identity are expected to raise the acceptance within certain contexts and target groups dramatically. But current systems are far from achieving the fidelity required for realization of these benefits.

The crucial obstacle is scarcity of data. Most important of all, substantial corpora of language varieties or dialects are rare. Moreover, authoritative orthographic conventions usually do not exist. As a result, the notation of written texts can vary widely and there are no obvious conventions for the annotation of speech corpora.

This situation calls for novel approaches, methods and techniques to overcome or circumvent the problem of data scarcity, but also to enhance and strengthen the standing that language varieties and dialects have in natural language processing technologies as well as in interaction technologies that build upon the former.

While there will be a clear focus on machine learning applied to the before mentioned problems, this workshop aims at gathering researchers with expertise in various disciplines.


  • machine learning algorithms operating in the regime of data scarcity
  • bootstrapping and active learning schemes for principled acquisition, annotation or generation of training data
  • methods to acquire resources by exploiting the proximity between varieties and standard language
  • issues of orthography and annotation
  • machine translation between language varieties or dialects
  • speech synthesis of dialects with limited corpora
  • interaction technologies dealing with social identity in speech and text
  • novel approaches transcending the paradigm of statistical modelling

Progress in the above listed topics requires an interdisciplinary approach: machine learning, machine translation, speech synthesis, automatic speech recognition but also linguistics and interaction technologies will have to contribute. We invite researchers with a genuine interest in modelling of language varieties and the advancement of natural language processing in this area.


We invite high-quality submissions on original, unpublished work in areas relating to the aforementioned topics. Both significant theoretical advances and descriptions of successful practical systems involving processing or generation of language varieties are welcome. Submission of work that is only incremental in nature or describes minor progress is explicitly discouraged.

Two paper categories will be distinguished:

  • Long papers are expected to report on contributions of lasting value and will be presented orally in the plenary session of the workshop. Submissions should not exceed a length of 9 pages, excluding references.
  • Short papers are ideally suited for exciting new work that is not yet mature enough for a long paper, but has substantial merit. The work will be presented during the poster session and - depending on the type of work - a system demonstration can be given. The length of short papers is restricted to 4 pages, excluding references.

Reviewing will be double-blind, so please ensure your submission is properly anonymized. In particular, the paper should not reveal the authors' identities or include acknowledgments or references to project names, websites, software or such that might give away the identity.

Submissions should follow the two-column format of the ACL 2011 proceedings. The official style files can be obtained at http://www.acl2011.org/call.shtml. Submission is handled using the START system, available HERE. Papers must be uploaded until April 22 May 2, 23:59 GMT-11.

Policy regarding submission to multiple workshops/conferences: It is acceptable to submit the same paper at another workshop or conference. However, in this case we request that you inform the organizers in a separate e-mail in advance, such that we know the paper might be withdrawn. In addition, if you do decide to withdraw, we request that you notify us by May 26th, at the very latest.