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The Third Midwest Computational Linguistics Colloquium


The Language and Speech Program at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce the third meeting of the Midwest Computational Linguistics Colloquium (MCLC). This colloquium offers a less formal forum for computational linguistics researchers to get together and present ideas and work. It is intended to be primarily for researchers from the Midwest region, but applications from all regions are welcome.

The MCLC meeting is hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and Linguistics at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at its home, the Siebel Center for Computer Science.

Notice: The submission deadline has been extended to April 14, 2006.

Notice: The final paper submission deadline has been extended to May 15, 2006.

Notice: If you plan on attending, please register (at no cost) by following the link at left.


Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science
Room 2405
201 N Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801-2302

Invited Speaker

Partha Niyogi, University of Chicago
"The Computational Nature of Language Learning and Evolution"


Humans are distinguished by the ability to acquire and use language. This ability allows us to transmit information in a non-genetic manner across generations. As a result it becomes possible for us to have a sense of history, culture, and tradition. Curiously enough, language may be viewed as a formal object with syllables, morphemes, phrases, and their associated grammatical rules. Language learning may then be viewed as a procedure that maps linguistic experience (data) onto linguistic knowledge (grammar). This allows one to take a computational view of language acquisition and indeed, this view has dominated current thinking in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and linguistics.

Now language learning is the mechanism by which language is transmitted from one generation to the next --- children acquire the language of the mature speakers in the population. In this talk, we consider the interplay between learning by individuals and language change and evolution by populations. By considering an ensemble of language learners, one can derive various dynamical systems that show how the population might evolve under those assumptions. We will consider several such dynamical systems and see how they might shed light on questions such as dialect formation, language evolution, convergence on shared languages and so on. Along the way, the mathematical framework will be elaborated and connections to other disciplines will be emphasized.

Program Chairs

  • Dan Roth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Richard Sproat, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Program Committee

Joyce Y. Chai Michigan State University jchai AT cse DOT msu DOT edu
Damir Cavar Indiana University dcavar AT indiana DOT edu
Eric Fosler-Lussier The Ohio State University fosler AT cse DOT ohio-state DOT edu
Roxana Girju University of Illinois at
girju AT uiuc DOT edu
John Hale Michigan State University jthale AT msu DOT edu
John Lawler University of Michigan
Western Washington University, Bellingham
jlawler AT umich DOT edu
Marc Light University of Iowa marc-light AT uiowa DOT edu
Gina Levow University of Chicago levow AT cs DOT uchicago DOT edu
Dragomir Radev University of Michigan radev AT umich DOT edu
Victor Raskin Purdue University vraskin AT purdue DOT edu
Chilin Shih University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign
cls AT uiuc DOT edu
ChengXiang Zhai University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign
czhai AT cs DOT uiuc DOT edu

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: April 14, 2006
  • Notification of acceptance: April 28, 2006
  • Final papers due: May 15, 2006
  • Colloquium: May 20-21, 2006


mclc06 AT cs DOT uiuc DOT edu


The Language and Speech Program at UIUC

Last modified: May 1, 2006