DEADLINE EXTENDED! Call for Papers: Workshop on Language technology for normalisation of less-resourced languages (AfLaT2012/SALTMIL)

The 8th International Workshop of the ISCA Special Interest Group on Speech and Language Technology for Minority Languages (SALTMIL, and the 4th Workshop on African Language Technology (AfLaT2012) will be held as a joint effort in Istanbul, in May 2012, as part of the 2012 International Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2012). This workshop will take place on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 in the Lütfi Kirdar Istanbul Exhibition and Congress Centre, Istanbul, Turkey.

Papers are invited for the above full-day workshop, in the format outlined below. Most submitted papers will be presented in poster form, though some authors may be invited to present in lecture format.

Context and focus

Entitled "Language technology for normalisation of less-resourced languages", the workshop is intended to continue the series of SALTMIL/LREC workshops on computational language resources for minority languages, held in Granada (1998), Athens (2000), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2002) and Lisbon (2004), Genoa (2006), Marrakech (2008) and Malta (2010) and the series of AfLaT workshops, held in Athens (EACL2009), Malta (LREC2010) and Addis Ababa (AGIS11).

The Istanbul 2012 workshop aims to share information on tools and best practices, so that isolated researchers will not need to start from scratch. An important aspect will be the forming of personal contacts, which can minimize duplication of effort. There will be a balance between presentations of existing language resources, and more general presentations designed to give background information needed by all researchers.

While less-resourced languages and minority languages often struggle to find their place in a digital world dominated by only a handful of commercially interesting languages, a growing number of researchers are working on alleviating this linguistic digital divide, through localisation efforts, the development of BLARKs (basic language resource kits) and practical applications of human language technologies. The joint SALTMIL/AfLaT workshop on "Language technology for normalisation of less-resourced languages" provides a unique opportunity to connect these researchers and set up a common forum to meet and share the latest developments in the field.


The workshop takes an inclusive approach to the word “normalisation”, considering it to include both technologies that help make languages more “normal” in society and everyday life, as well as technologies that normalise languages, i.e. help create or maintain a written standard or support diversity in standards. We particularly focus on the challenges less-resourced and minority languages face in the digital world. Papers are invited that describe research and development in the following areas in the area of technologies for language normalisation, including (but not limited to) topics such as:

* Keyboard layouts and entry methods
* Standardisation in machine readable lexicons/dictionaries
* Computer-aided language learning (CALL)
* Dealing with language variants in NLP
* Automatic identification of varieties, dialects
* Corpus construction and annotation
* Terminology development and management
* MT between varieties of the same language
* Spelling correction/normalisation
* Machine translation (MT)
* Morphological analysers
* Part-of-speech taggers and parsers
* Speech recognition and synthesis
* Information extraction/retrieval
* Localisation efforts
* Mobile phones as a platform for HLT

Organisers (SALTMIL and AfLaT)

* Mikel L. Forcada (SALTMIL): Machine Translation Group, School of Computing, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
* Guy De Pauw (AfLaT): CLiPS - Computational Linguistics Group, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
* Gilles-Maurice de Schryver(AfLaT): African Languages and Cultures, TshwaneDJe HLT, South Africa & Ghent University, Belgium
* Kepa Sarasola(SALTMIL): Dept. of Computer Languages, University of the Basque Country
* Francis M. Tyers(SALTMIL), Departament de Llenguatges i Sistemes Informàtics, Universitat d'Alacant, Spain
* Peter Waiganjo Wagacha(AfLaT): School of Computing & Informatics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Programme committee

* Iñaki Alegria: University of the Basque Country
* Núria Bel, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
* Lars Borin, Göteborgs universitet, Sweden
* Sonja Bosch, University of South Africa, South Africa
* Khalid Choukri (ELRA,ELDA, France)
* Mikel L. Forcada, Universitat d’Alacant
* Dafydd Gibbon, University of Bielefeld, Germany
* Girish Nath Jha, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
* Hrafn Loftsson, University of Reykjavik
* Guy De Pauw, CLiPS, Universiteit Antwerpen
* Laurette Pretorius, University of South Africa, South Africa
* Lori Levin, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
* Odetunji Odejobi, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
* Felipe Sánchez-Martínez, Universitat d'Alacant
* Kepa Sarasola, University of the Basque Country
* Kevin Scannell, Saint Louis University, USA
* Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, Universiteit Gent
* Francis M. Tyers, Universitat d'Alacant
* Peter Waiganjo Wagacha, University of Nairobi


We expect short papers of max 6,000 words (up to 6 pages) describing research addressing one of the above topics, to be submitted as PDF documents by using the LREC2012 START conference management system (URL:

Submissions should be anonymized. When submitting a paper through the START page, authors will be kindly asked to provide relevant information about the resources that have been used for the work described in their paper or that are the outcome of their research. For further information on this initiative, please refer to Authors will also be asked to contribute to the Language Library, the new initiative of LREC2012.

Submissions of papers should follow the same style as the papers for the main LREC conference (Author Kit - Word, LaTex Templates). All contributions (including invited papers) will be included in the workshop proceedings (CD). They will also be published on the SALTMIL and AfLaT websites.

Important dates

* 5 March 2012: Deadline for submission (EXTENDED!)
* 14 March 2012: Notification
* 28 March 2012: Final version
* 22 May 2012: Workshop


Registration details will be announced in due course


LREC 2012:
Paper submission: