Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (ACL2007 workshop)


ACL 2007 Workshop on
Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages:

Common Issues and Resources

28th June, 2007, Prague, Czech Republic

Submission deadline: 11 March 2007

The ACL 2007 Workshop on "Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages: Common Issues and Resources" will be held in conjunction with the 45th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, and will take place on June 28th in Prague, Czech Republic. 


The Semitic family includes many languages and dialects spoken by a large number of native speakers (around 300 million). However, Semitic languages as a whole are still understudied. The most prominent members of this family are Arabic and its dialects, Hebrew, Amharic, Aramaic, Maltese and Syriac. Their shared ancestry is apparent through pervasive cognate sharing, a rich and productive pattern-based morphology, and similar syntactic constructions. An increasing body of computational linguistics work is starting to appear for both Arabic and Hebrew. Arabic alone, as the largest member of the Semitic family, has been receiving much attention lately via dedicated workshops and conferences. Tools and resources for other Semitic languages are being created at a slower rate.  While corpora and some tools are necessarily language-specific, ideally there should be more cross-fertilization among research and development efforts for different Semitic languages. 

The proposed workshop aims to bring together researchers working on Semitic Languages to share and discuss common issues and approaches to the processing of these languages. We invite submissions on all Semitic languages, including work describing recent state-of-the-art NLP systems and work leveraging resource and tool creation for the Semitic language family. We especially welcome submissions on work that crosses individual language boundaries and heightens awareness amongst Semitic-language researchers of shared challenges and common solutions. The workshop will also include a meeting of the Special Interest Group on Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages (the ACL SIG).

Examples of topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Computational approaches to phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of Semitic languages
  • Tools for processing of Semitic languages (e.g. POS taggers, parsers, etc.)
  • Computational resources for Semitic languages
  • Comparative computational studies of Semitic languages
  • Leveraging resources in other languages (Semitic or other) to create resources and tools for Semitic languages
  • Empirical studies of unique/specific phenomena in Semitic languages
  • Text and speech applications for Semitic languages such as:
    • speech recognition,
    • machine translation,
    • summarization,
    • language generation,
    • speech synthesis,
    • co-reference resolution,
    • mention detection,
    • information retrieval,
    • spoken dialog applications
    • etc.


Authors are invited to submit full papers on original, unpublished work in the topic area of this workshop. Submissions should not exceed 8 pages and should be formatted using the ACL 2007 style files, which are available at:
The reviewing of the papers will be blind and the papers should not include the authors' names and affiliations. Each submission will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee. Accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings.  Papers should be submitted electronically, no later than March 11, 2007. The only accepted format for submitted papers is Adobe PDF.


 March 11  --  Submission deadline for workshop papers
April 11  --  Notification of acceptance
April 29  --  Camera-ready version due
June 28   --  Workshop held at ACL 2007



Violetta Cavalli-Sforza (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) - violetta [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu
Imed Zitouni (IBM Research, USA) - izitouni [at] us [dot] ibm [dot] com



Sherif Mahdy Abdou (Cairo University, Egypt)
Yaser Al-Onaizan (IBM, USA)
Ann Bies (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Malek Boualem (France Telecom, France)
Tim Buckwalter (LDC/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Achraf Chalabi (Sakhr Software Co., Egypt)
Anne DeRoeck (Open University, UK.)
Mona Diab (Columbia University, USA)
Joseph Dichy (University of Lyon 2, France)
Abdelhamid ElJihad (Institut d'Etudes et Recherches sur l'Arabisation, Morocco)
Martha W. Evens (Illinois Institute of Technology, USA)
Ali Farghaly (Oracle, USA)
Alexander Fraser (USC/ISI, USA)
Andrew Freeman (Washington University, USA)
Nizar Habash (Columbia University, USA)
Alon Itai (Technion/Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Steven Krauwer (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
Mohamed F. Noamany (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Uzzi Ornan  (Technion, Israel)
Slim Ouni (LORIA/University of Nancy 2, France)
Mike Rosner (University of Malta, Malta)
Khalil Sima'an (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Abdelhadi Soudi (Ecole Nationale de l'Industrie Minérale, Morocco)
Shuly Wintner (University of Haifa, Israel)
Mustafa Yaseen (Amman University, Jordan)
Abdellah Yousfi (Institut d'Etudes et Recherches sur l'Arabisation, Morocco)


ACL 2007 Workshop on
Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages:
Common Issues and Resources
28th June, 2007, Prague, Czech Republic
NEW Submission deadline: 26 March 2007
Workshop Website:
Paper Submission Site: