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topiCS-PRE 2010 : Journal Topics in Cognitive Science (topiCS), PRODUCTION OF REFERRING EXPRESSIONS: Bridging the gap between computational and empirical approaches to reference


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Abstract Registration Due Feb 1, 2010
Submission Deadline Mar 1, 2010
Categories    NLP

Call For Papers

:: apologies for multiple postings ::

CALL FOR PAPERS for the Journal Topics in Cognitive Science (topiCS)


Bridging the gap between computational and empirical approaches to reference

Deadline for intention to submit: 1 February 2010

Deadline for submission of full papers: 1 March 2010

We invite substantial, original, and unpublished submissions on all topics related to the production of referring expressions. Contributions may focus on computational, experimental, or theoretical approaches to reference. Papers bridging two or more of these fields are especially encouraged. Papers should not normally exceed 8000 words, though this limit may be extended in exceptional cases.

Editors for this topic are Kees van Deemter (University of Aberdeen, UK), Albert Gatt (University of Malta, Malta), Roger van Gompel (University of Dundee, UK) and Emiel Krahmer (Tilburg University, The Netherlands). If prospective authors have any questions, they should contact the TopiCS editors at


Introduction of the topic: Following on from a highly successful CogSci workshop on the same theme (the PRE-CogSci 2009 workshop, we are pleased to launch this open Call for Papers for the new journal Topics in Cognitive Sciences (topiCS). Participants in the PRE workshop are invited to submit, but this Call is in no way restricted to them. Submission procedures are specified below.

About the journal: Topics in Cognitive Sciences is one of the two official journals of the Cognitive Science Society, and is published by Wiley International. This innovative publication continues in the tradition of the Cognitive Science journal by being characterized by rigorous reviewing and high-quality papers. As the name suggests, topiCS features multiple scholarly papers dedicated to a single topic. Some of these topics will appear together in one issue, but other topics may appear across several issues. For more information on the journal and on preparing and submitting a manuscript to topiCS, see

Background about the topic: The production of referring expressions has been studied from many perspectives including cognitive science, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics, yet several open questions remain about how human speakers refer to entities. A referring expression is typically defined as one which is produced in order to identify an object or set of objects for a listener or reader, in a relevant domain of discourse. Research has zoomed in on definite descriptions, deictic expressions, anaphors, and many other areas. In spite of several decades of research on the topic, our understanding of it is still incomplete, in part due to a lack of communication between the various disciplines, a remarkable state of affairs given the substantial overlap in the topics that these practitioners have investigated. We believe that the time is ripe to bridge the gap between these disciplines. Psycholinguistics offers important insights into the cognitive mechanisms underlying the production of referring expressions, through carefully controlled experiments. Computational linguistics has a well-established approach involving corpus analysis and computational modeling. The goal of this topic is to foster greater understanding and collaboration between psycholinguists, computational linguists, and researchers in related fields (e.g., theoretical linguists interested in models of human language that are grounded in cognitive principles), by making research results available and accessible to both. For further information on the academic background to these issues, see the PRE-CogSci Workshop website (

Specific topics of interest include computational and/or experimental approaches to:

- different kinds of referring expressions; when are which types of reference (pronouns, descriptions, etc.) most appropriate?

- plural and quantified references

- vagueness: the use of vague (e.g. gradable) predicates in referring expressions

- referential overspecification: why and how do speakers overspecify?

- referential underspecification: production of descriptions which do not uniquely identify a referent

- referring expressions in interactive settings; audience design, adaptation and alignment

- ambiguity avoidance in references

- common ground, cooperativeness and shared/private information in reference

- realization of referring expressions (including speech and gesture)

- visual scene perception and its influence on the production of referring expressions

- social and contextual factors in reference

- data-collection and experimental evaluation methods

Paper submission: Manuscripts should follow the APA guidelines. Each submission will be sent for review to three reviewers, including at least one psycholinguist and one computational linguist. The only accepted format for submitted abstracts is Adobe PDF. Submission is a two-stage process, whereby authors first send an *intention to submit* by 1 February 2010 followed by the *actual submission* of papers (using TopiCS’s submission system) by 1 March 2010.

Reviewing committee:

- Mira Ariel, Tel Aviv University, Israel

- Jennifer Arnold, University of North Carolina, USA

- Adrian Bangerter, Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland

- Ellen Gurman Bard, University of Edinburgh, UK

- Dale Barr, University of California, USA

- Sarah Brown-Schmidt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

- Robert Dale, Macquarie University, Australia

- Fernanda Ferreira, University of Edinburgh, UK

- Victor Ferreira, University of California, USA

- Helmut Horacek, University of the Saarland, Germany

- John Kelleher, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

- Alfons Maes, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

- Linda Moxey, University of Glasgow, UK

- Martin Pickering, University of Edinburgh, UK

- Massimo Poesio, University of Trento, Italy

- Ehud Reiter, University of Aberdeen, UK

- David Reitter, Carnegie Mellon, USA

- Advaith Siddharthan, Cambridge University, UK

- Matthew Stone, Rutgers University, USA

- Takenobu Tokunaga, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

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