Revision 20 as of 2014-11-11 11:50:49

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Comparative Computational Semantics

In collaboration with Stanford University and the University of Washington, the WeSearch project at the University of Oslo holds a three-day, by-invitation working meeting from November 13 to 15, 2014, in Berlin. The meeting will be hosted at Arcotel Velvet, not far away from Bahnhof Friedrichstraße, which is easily accessible from both airports.

Materials

Participants have been asked to prepare candidate analyses (or general, high-level reflections) for a selection of some sixty minimal exemplars, instantiating ten broad semantic phenomena. The following representations are currently available for comparison:

Alex Lascarides has contributed a set of high-level reflections, relating compositional sentence semantics and desiderata originating in discourse-level analysis. There is still room for additional target representations, reflections, or pointers to relevant literature.

Schedule

The meeting starts at 10:00 (‘after breakfast’) on Thursday, November 13, and we will wrap up around 16:00 on Saturday, November 15. The plan is to use the first session to ‘jump right in’, i.e. familiarize ourselves with the various representations and discuss design choices for a specific phenomenon, control relations (which we believe to be relatively well-understood and comparatively uncontroversial).

Reflecting on this first joint calibration session, we plan on a brief high-level discussion after lunch, to exchange views about, for example, our specific goals in different approaches to meaning representation (and composition), known or anticipated commonalities and differences, notions of standing (or sentence) vs. occassion (or speaker) meaning, the role of grammar, or which sub-tasks to differentiate in semantic analysis (like, for example, predicate–argument analysis, sense disambiguation, named entity classification, resolving scope ambiguities, and coreference resolution).

To prepare for an afternoon coffee break, we will not let theoretical arguments get out of hand and start discussing a second phenomenon in that same session. From there on, the meeting agenda is largely up to collective decision making, but we shall try to get through in-depth discussion of at least six of the phenomena on our shopping list.

Thursday, November 13

10:00–12:30

Control Relations (Calibration)

12:30–13:30

Lunch

13:30–14:30

High-Level Goals

14:30–15:30

Clausal Complements

15:30–16:00

Coffee

16:00–18:00

Clausal Complements

Friday, November 14

09:00–10:30

Third Phenomenon

10:30–11:00

Coffee

11:00–12:30

Third Phenomenon

12:30–13:30

Lunch

13:30–15:30

Fourth Phenomenon

15:30–16:00

Coffee

16:00–17:30

Fourth Phenomenon

19:30

Joint Dinner

Saturday, November 15

09:00–10:30

Fifth Phenomenon

10:30–11:00

Coffee

11:00–12:30

Fifth Phenomenon

12:30–13:30

Lunch

13:30–15:30

Sixth Phenomenon

15:30–16:00

Collective Wrap-Up

All scheduled sessions will meet in Business Suite 616 on the top floor of the hotel. Coffee breaks are not served at the hotel, but there are at least two decent coffee shops in the immediate neighborhood.

Participants

Financial Support

The project has available funds by the Norwegian Research council to cover (the bulk of) expenses related to participation in the meeting, viz.

Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements and email their arrival and departure times to StephanOepen, who will make hotel reservations. Please keep receipts and (if applicable) boarding passes, which you will have to submit for reimbursement to the University of Oslo after completion of your travels. With a bit of luck, reimbursements should be processed by mid-December.

(The DELPH-IN infrastructure is hosted at the University of Oslo)