Workshop on Formal Language Theory in Linguistics

In addition to the plenary session on “Computation and Meaning,” SCiL 2020 will feature a workshop on “Formal Language Theory in Linguistics,” to be conducted as a series of events throughout the conference.

Formal language theory, as the mathematical study of string patterns, provides for the direct study of the computational complexity of linguistic patterns. This allows for comparison of distinct linguistic theories, development of methods for machine processing of language, and the discovery of inductive principles for learning algorithms that generalize from positive data—a context relevant to both human language acquisition and induction from text corpora.

The goal of this workshop will be to communicate to the participants of SCiL recent research in formal language theory as it applies to linguistic theory and natural language processing. The workshop events will include the following:

* A keynote address by Jeffrey Heinz (Stony Brook University)
* A special panel on formal language theory as it relates to learnability, featuring Regine Lai (City University of Hong Kong) and two other researchers (to be announced)
* Tutorials demonstrating resources available for getting started on formal language theory research, offered by Alëna Aksënova (Stony Brook University) and Kyle Gorman (CUNY).
* Mentoring events before, during, and after the conference aimed at young researchers interested in careers related to computational linguistics
* A special ‘works in progress’ session of talks meant for work that might otherwise be deemed as too preliminary for the existing computational/mathematical linguistics venues. (Abstracts should follow the same two-page format as for the main session, but should be clearly marked for the works in progress session).

The workshop will occur during the regular LSA schedule and will not require a special registration fee.

This workshop is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.