The workshop programme is available!
The notion of modality involves a spectrum of phenomena that are pervasive in language but far from being formalised. For an exhaustive formalisation, a joint effort by computational, corpus, and formal linguists as well as language typologists is required.
Computationally, the automatic identification and interpretation of modalised statements is a prime concern in a large number of applications, especially with the recent attention to opinion mining and social networks. Indeed, recent years have witnessed the development of annotation schemes and annotated corpora for different aspects of modality in different languages. While there have been efforts towards finding a common avenue for modality annotation, (the CoNLL-2010 Shared Task, ACL thematic workshops and a special issue of Computational Linguistics), the computational linguistics community is still far from having developed working, shared standards for converting modality-related issues into annotation categories.
In corpus linguistics studies of modality-related phenomena, researchers use an incremental method based on redefining categories after assessing agreement through several rounds of manual annotation, with the aim of finding the right balance between feasibility and expressivity of categories.
Formally, and from a comparative linguistics perspective, characterisations are sought of the range of modal types and their marking across the languages of the world, towards a complete classification of modal functions. This would yield a thorough understanding of the relations holding between modal categories, and an understanding of the grammatical vs. lexical nature of modal markers across languages. Insights from this tradition are crucial for the advancement of computational work on modality, since a comprehensive scheme for producing reliable annotated data must obviously be usable from a computational perspective, but it also has to rely on a solid theoretical base. In other words, a balance must be found between accuracy and detailing in the description of the phenomenon, and preventing proliferation of labels which might cause data to be too sparse to learn from, and also lower agreement among annotators.
The main aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers from all involved fields to join efforts in defining exhaustive and at the same time usable representations of modality, towards working, implementable annotation standards. Beside the contribution of peer-reviewed research papers, we envisage a truly hands-on event as part of this workshop, where we would like to encourage participants to possibly try each other's annotation tools and schemes, and set up a roadmap for reaching shared standards in the annotation of modality.
Papers are solicited on topics such as (list not exhaustive):
Keynote speaker: James Pustejovsky, Brandeis University, title TBA
Standard research papers should be a mamximum of 8 pages long, including references. We also encourage submission of short papers of maximum 4 pages (references included), for describing technical issues concerning annotation, or a very specific modality phenomenon, for example. All papers should be electronically submitted in PDF format via EasyChair. Submissions must be anonymous and follow the IWCS formatting guidelines The deadline for submission is 21st December 2014. The accepted papers will be part of the conference proceedings and will be published electronically in the ACL Anthology.
***NEW***: a selection of (extended) accepted papers will also be published in a special issue on modality of LiLT (Linguistic Issues in Language Technology)