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SEMSPACE 2019 : Workshop on Semantic Spaces at the Intersection of NLP, Physics, and Cognitive Science


When Aug 5, 2019 - Aug 9, 2019
Where Riga, Latvia
Submission Deadline Apr 25, 2019
Notification Due Jun 1, 2019
Categories    computational linguistics   cognitive science   category theory   conceptual spaces

Call For Papers


Workshop on Semantic Spaces at the Intersection of NLP, Physics, and Cognitive Science

Part of ESSLLI 2019 (

August 5th - 9th 2019
Riga, Latvia


Vector embeddings of word meanings have become a mainstream tool in large scale natural language processing tools. The use of vectors to represent meanings in semantic spaces or feature spaces is also employed in cognitive science. Unrelated to natural language and cognitive science, vectors and vector spaces have been extensively used as models of physical theories and especially the theory of quantum mechanics. Crucial similarities between the vector representations of quantum mechanics and those of natural language are exhibited via bicompact linear logic and compact closed categorical structures in natural language.

Exploiting the common ground provided by vector spaces, the workshop will bring together researchers working at the intersection of NLP, cognitive science, and physics, offering to them an appropriate forum for presenting their uniquely motivated work and ideas. The interplay between these three disciplines will foster theoretically motivated approaches to understanding how meanings of words interact with each other in sentences and discourse via grammatical types, how they are determined by input from the world, and how word and sentence meanings interact logically.

Topics of interests include (but are not restricted to):
Reasoning in semantic spaces
Compositionality in semantic spaces and conceptual spaces
Conceptual spaces in linguistics and natural language processing
Applications of quantum logic in natural language processing and cognitive science
Modelling functional words such as prepositions and relative pronouns in compositional distributional models of meaning
Diagrammatic reasoning for natural language processing and cognitive science
Modelling so-called ‘non-compositional’ phenomena such as metaphor

May 17th 2019: Paper submission
7th June 2019: Notification to contributors
5th-9th August: Workshop dates

Professor Ruth Kempson FBA, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, King's College, London, UK
Dr Sanjaye Ramgoolam, Reader in Theoretical Physics, Queen Mary University of London, UK

We invite:
Original contributions (up to 12 pages) of previously unpublished work. Submission of substantial, albeit partial results of work in progress is welcomed.

Extended abstracts (3 pages) of previously published work that is recent and relevant to the workshop. These should include a link to a separately published paper or preprint.

Contributions should be submitted at:

Bob Coecke, University of Oxford
Peter Gärdenfors, Lund University
Helle Hvid Hansen, Delft University of Technology
Jules Hedges, University of Oxford
Dimitrios Kartsaklis, Apple
Alexander Kurz, University of Leicester
Antonio Lieto, University of Turin, Department of Computer Science
Richard Moot, CNRS (LIRMM) & University of Montpellier
Dusko Pavlovic, University of Hawaii
Emmanuel Pothos, City University London
Matthew Purver, Queen Mary University of London
Giovanni Sileno, University of Amsterdam
Pawel Sobocinski, University of Southampton
Oriol Valentín, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Dominic Widdows, Serendipity Now!
Geraint Wiggins, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Frank Zenker, Lund University

Martha Lewis, ILLC, University of Amsterdam
Dan Marsden, University of Oxford
Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Queen Mary University of London

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