workshop

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AfLaT 2010 submission now closed

We are happy to report that we received over 20 papers for the AfLaT 2010 workshop. We thank all of the authors and wish them best of luck during the reviewing process.

We look forward to seeing you in Malta!

AfLaT 2010 - FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

SECOND WORKSHOP ON AFRICAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY
AfLaT 2010

18 MAY 2010, VALLETTA, MALTA

Workshop at the seventh international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) 2010

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

In multilingual situations, language technologies are crucial for providing access to information and opportunities for economic development. With somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 different languages, Africa is a multilingual continent par excellence and presents acute challenges for those seeking to promote and use African languages in the areas of business development, education, research, and relief aid. In recent times a number of African researchers and institutions have come forward that share the common goal of developing capabilities in language technologies. This workshop provides a forum to meet and share the latest developments in this field. It also seeks to include linguists who specialize in African languages and would like to leverage the tools and approaches of computational linguistics, as well as computational linguists who are interested in learning about the particular linguistic challenges posed by African languages.

The workshop will consist of an invited talk, followed by refereed research papers in computational linguistics. The focus will be on sub-Saharan African languages, excluding Arabic and languages with European origins, such as Afrikaans and African variants of English and French. We invite submissions on any topic related to language and speech technology and African languages including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Corpora and corpus annotation
  • Machine readable lexicons
  • Morphological analyzers and spelling checkers
  • Part of speech taggers and parsers
  • Speech recognition and synthesis
  • Applications such as machine translation, information extraction, information retrieval, computer-assisted language learning and question answering
  • The role of language technologies in economic development, education, healthcare, and emergency and public services
  • Documentation of endangered languages and the use of language technologies to enhance language vitality
  • The combination of language and speech technology with mobile phone technology.

OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

  • Assess the state-of-the-art in the development of BLARKs for sub-Saharan African languages
  • Address issues of efficient and sufficient collection and annotation of spoken and written language samples
  • Define particular issues in machine translation, speech recognition, and other language technology applications
  • Discuss community needs in education and vitality of language and culture, such as localization of operating systems and applications, spelling checkers, dictionaries, computer assisted language learning and the like
  • Assess the role of language technology in bridging the digital divide, particularly in light of rapidly emerging technologies, such as mobile phones
  • Strengthen the network of researchers working in the domain of African Language Technology

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to submit original work in the topic area of this workshop. Submissions should be formatted using the LREC style sheet and should not exceed four (4) pages, including references.

The reviewing will be blind and the paper should therefore not include the authors' names and affiliations. Submission will be electronic. Papers must be submitted no later than 15 February, 2010 using the submission webpage: https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/AfLaT2010.

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-of-Language-Resources.

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines on how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers for inclusion in the LREC workshop proceedings. Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadline: 19 February, 2010 (extended!)
Notification of acceptance: 12 March, 2010
Camera-ready papers due: 22 March, 2010
Workshop: 18 May 2010

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Guy De Pauw (Workshop Chair - Contact Person)
    (1) CLiPS Research Group, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
    (2) School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO
    Nairobi, Kenya
    http://aflat.org/guy

  • Handré Groenewald
    Centre for Text Technology (CTexT), North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
    http://www.nwu.ac.za/ctext

  • Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
    (1) African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Rozier 44, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    (2) Xhosa Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Republic of South Africa
    (3) TshwaneDJe HLT, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
    http://tshwanedje.com/members/gmds/cv.html

  • Peter Waiganjo Wagacha
    School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO Nairobi, Kenya
    http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/faculties/staff-profile.php?id=168090&name=waiganjo&fac code=52

INVITED SPEAKER

Justus Roux: "Do we need linguistic knowledge for speech technology applications in African languages?"

PROGRAM COMMITTEE


Tunde Adegbola - African Languages Technlogy Initiative (Alt-i), Nigeria
Tadesse Anberbir - Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Winston Anderson - University of South Africa, South Africa
Lars Asker - Stockholm University, Sweden
Etienne Barnard - Meraka Institute, South Africa
Piotr Bański - University of Warsaw, Poland
Ansu Berg - North-West University, South Africa
Sonja Bosch - University of South Africa, South Africa
Chantal Enguehard - LINA - UMR CNRS, France
Gertrud Faaß - Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Bjorn Gamback - Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden
Katherine Getao - NEPAD e-Africa Commission, South Africa
Dafydd Gibbon - Universität Bielefeld, Germany
Arvi Hurskainen - University of Helsinki, Finland
Fred Kitoogo - Makerere University, Uganda
Roser Morante - University of Antwerp, Belgium
Lawrence Muchemi - University of Nairobi, Kenya
Wanjiku Ng'ang'a - University of Nairobi, Kenya
Odetunji Odejobi - University College Cork, Ireland
Chinyere Ohiri-Anichie - University of Lagos, Nigeria
Sulene Pilon - North-West University, South Africa
Laurette Pretorius - University of South Africa, South Africa
Rigardt Pretorius - North-West University, South Africa
Danie Prinsloo - University of Pretoria, South Africa
Justus Roux - North-West University, South Africa
Kevin Scannell - Saint Louis University, United States
Gerhard Van Huyssteen - Meraka Institute, South Africa

AfLaT 2010 - FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

SECOND WORKSHOP ON AFRICAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY
AfLaT 2010

18 MAY 2010, VALLETTA, MALTA

Workshop at the seventh international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC) 2010

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

In multilingual situations, language technologies are crucial for providing access to information and opportunities for economic development. With somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 different languages, Africa is a multilingual continent par excellence and presents acute challenges for those seeking to promote and use African languages in the areas of business development, education, research, and relief aid. In recent times a number of African researchers and institutions have come forward that share the common goal of developing capabilities in language technologies. This workshop provides a forum to meet and share the latest developments in this field. It also seeks to include linguists who specialize in African languages and would like to leverage the tools and approaches of computational linguistics, as well as computational linguists who are interested in learning about the particular linguistic challenges posed by African languages.

The workshop will consist of an invited talk, followed by refereed research papers in computational linguistics. The focus will be on sub-Saharan African languages, excluding Arabic and languages with European origins, such as Afrikaans and African variants of English and French. We invite submissions on any topic related to language and speech technology and African languages including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Corpora and corpus annotation
  • Machine readable lexicons
  • Morphological analyzers and spelling checkers
  • Part of speech taggers and parsers
  • Speech recognition and synthesis
  • Applications such as machine translation, information extraction, information retrieval, computer-assisted language learning and question answering
  • The role of language technologies in economic development, education, healthcare, and emergency and public services
  • Documentation of endangered languages and the use of language technologies to enhance language vitality
  • The combination of language and speech technology with mobile phone technology.

OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP

  • Assess the state-of-the-art in the development of BLARKs for sub-Saharan African languages
  • Address issues of efficient and sufficient collection and annotation of spoken and written language samples
  • Define particular issues in machine translation, speech recognition, and other language technology applications
  • Discuss community needs in education and vitality of language and culture, such as localization of operating systems and applications, spelling checkers, dictionaries, computer assisted language learning and the like
  • Assess the role of language technology in bridging the digital divide, particularly in light of rapidly emerging technologies, such as mobile phones
  • Strengthen the network of researchers working in the domain of African Language Technology

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to submit original work in the topic area of this workshop. Submissions should be formatted using the LREC style sheet (to be announced later on the Conference web site) and should not exceed four (4) pages, including references.

The reviewing will be blind and the paper should therefore not include the authors' names and affiliations. Submission will be electronic. Papers must be submitted no later than 15 February, 2010 using the submission webpage: https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/AfLaT2010.

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-of-Language-Resources.

Submissions will be reviewed by 3 members of the Program Committee. Authors of accepted papers will receive guidelines on how to produce camera-ready versions of their papers for inclusion in the LREC workshop proceedings. Notification of receipt will be emailed to the contact author.

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission deadline: 15 February, 2010
Notification of acceptance: 12 March, 2010
Camera-ready papers due: 22 March, 2010
Workshop: 18 May 2010

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Guy De Pauw (Workshop Chair - Contact Person)
    (1) CLiPS Research Group, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
    (2) School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO
    Nairobi, Kenya
    http://aflat.org/guy

  • Handré Groenewald
    Centre for Text Technology (CTexT), North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
    http://www.nwu.ac.za/ctext

  • Gilles-Maurice de Schryver
    (1) African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Rozier 44, 9000 Gent, Belgium
    (2) Xhosa Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Republic of South Africa
    (3) TshwaneDJe HLT, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
    http://tshwanedje.com/members/gmds/cv.html

  • Peter Waiganjo Wagacha
    School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197 - 00100GPO Nairobi, Kenya
    http://www.uonbi.ac.ke/faculties/staff-profile.php?id=168090&name=waiganjo&fac code=52

PROGRAM COMMITTEE

to be announced

INVITED SPEAKER

to be announced

NHN Day 2010 - Call for Abstracts


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

National Human Language Technology Network (NHN) Day 2010

The National Human Language Technology Network (NHN) is a collaborative effort which aims to strengthen synergies between HLT researchers and practitioners in South Africa. Currently, the members of the NHN are most of the major South African tertiary institutions and research councils who are actively involved in HLT R&D activities.

EACL 2009 Workshop on Language Technologies for African Languages (AfLaT 2009) - Report

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Invited Talk: African Language Families and their Structural Properties

Sonja Bosch

Sonja Bosch presenting (also [1], [2])
Download slides here

Collecting and Evaluating Speech Recognition Corpora for Nine Southern Bantu Languages

Jaco Badenhorst, Charl Van Heerden, Marelie Davel and Etienne Barnard

Jaco Badenhorst presenting (also [1])Download slides here
Get paper here

The SAWA Corpus: A Parallel Corpus English - Swahili

Guy De Pauw, Peter Waiganjo Wagacha and Gilles-Maurice de Schryver

Guy De Pauw presenting (also [1], [2])
Download slides here
Get paper here

Information Structure in African Languages: Corpora and Tools

Christian Chiarcos, Ines Fiedler, Mira Grubic, Andreas Haida, Katharina Hartmann, Julia Ritz, Anne Schwarz, Amir Zeldes and Malte Zimmermann

Mira Grubic presenting (also [1])
Download slides here
Get paper here

A Computational Approach to Yorùbá Morphology

Raphael Finkel and Odetunji Ajadi Odejobi

Odetunji Ajadi Odejobi presenting (also [1], [2])
Download Slides here
Get paper here

Using Technology Transfer to Advance Automatic Lemmatisation for Setswana

Handré Groenewald

Handré Groenewald presenting Download Slides here
Get paper here

Part-of-Speech Tagging of Northern Sotho: Disambiguating Polysemous Function Words

Gertrud Faaß, Ulrich Heid, Elsabé Taljard and Danie Prinsloo

Elsabé Taljard presenting (also [1], [2])
Download Slides here
Get paper here

Building Capacities in Human Language Technology for African Languages

Tunde Adegbola

Odetunji Ajadi Odejobi presenting Download slides here
Get paper here

Initial Fieldwork for LWAZI: A Telephone-Based Spoken Dialog System for Rural South Africa

Tebogo Gumede and Madelaine Plauché

Tebogo Gumede presenting Download slides here
Get paper here

Setswana Tokenisation and Computational Verb Morphology: Facing the Challenge of a Disjunctive Orthography

Rigardt Pretorius, Ansu Berg, Laurette Pretorius and Biffie Viljoen

Laurette Pretorius presenting Download Poster here
Get paper here

Interlinear Glossing and its Role in Theoretical and Descriptive Studies of African and other Lesser–Documented Languages

Dorothee Beermann and Pavel Mihaylov

Pavel Mihaylov (right) (also [1])Download Poster here
Get paper here

Towards an Electronic Dictionary of Tamajaq Language in Niger

Chantal Enguehard and Issouf Modi

Issouf Modi and Chantal Enguehard presentingDownload Poster here
Get paper here

A Repository of Free Lexical Resources for African Languages: The Project and the Method

Piotr Bański and Beata Wójtowicz

Download Poster here
Get paper here

Exploiting Cross-Linguistic Similarities in Zulu and Xhosa Computational Morphology

Laurette Pretorius and Sonja Bosch

Sonja BoschDownload Poster here
Get paper here

Methods for Amharic Part-of-Speech Tagging

Björn Gambäck, Fredrik Olsson, Atelach Alemu Argaw and Lars Asker

Download Poster here
Get paper here

An Ontology for Accessing Transcription Systems (OATS)

Steven Moran

Download Poster here
Get paper here






Miscellaneous Photos










We would like to thank the organizing committee and the program committee for their valued contributions to the workshop.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Lori Levin: Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA (Workshop Chair)
Guy De Pauw: University of Antwerp, Belgium | University of Nairobi, Kenya | AfLaT.org (Workshop Co-Chair)
John Kiango: Director, Institute of Kiswahili Research, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Judith Klavans: University of Maryland, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, USA
Manuela Noske: Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, USA
Gilles-Maurice de Schryver: African Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Belgium | University of the Western Cape, South Africa | AfLaT.org
Peter Waiganjo Wagacha: School of Computing and Informatics, University of Nairobi, Kenya | AfLaT.org

PROGRAM COMMITTEE
Akinbiyi Akinlabi, Rutgers University
Yiwola Awoyale, University of Pennsylvania, Linguistic Data Consortium
Moussa Bamba, University of Pennsylvania, Linguistic Data Consortium
Alan Black, Carnegie Mellon University
Sonja Bosch, University of South Africa
Christopher Cieri, University of Pennsylvania, Linguistic Data Consortium
Robert Frederking, Carnegie Mellon University
Dafydd Gibbon, University of Bielefeld, Germany
Jeff Good, SUNY Buffalo
Mike Gasser, Indiana University
Gregory Iverson, University of Maryland, Center for Advanced Study of Language
Stephen Larocca, US Army Research Lab
Michael Maxwell, University of Maryland, Center for Advanced Study of Language
Jonathan Owens, University of Maryland, Center for Advanced Study of Language
Tristan Purvis, University of Maryland, Center for Advanced Study of Language
Antonia Schleicher, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Tanja Schultz, Karlsruhe University
Clare Voss, US Army Research Lab
Briony Williams, University of Wales, Bangor

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