Workshop on Extracting and Using Constructions in Computational Linguistics

Important dates | Location | Submission procedure | Program committee | Program

A construction can be defined as a form-meaning pairing in which the components cannot entirely explain the meaning of the whole. Constructional phenomena range from morphemes to argument structure, and include obvious examples like collocations ("hermetically sealed"), (idiomatic) expressions with fixed constituents ("kick the bucket"), expressions with (semi-)optional constituents ("hungry as a X"), and sequences of grammatical categories ([det][adj][noun]), as well as more complex constructions involving, e.g., the occurrence of sentence composition features (e.g. transitivity) or adverbial types (e.g. spatial adverbials). As these examples demonstrate, constructions are a diverse breed, and constructionist theories do not give a government to any specific level of language. On the contrary, all levels are viewed as equally important.

Constructions are currently enjoying considerable attention in linguistic research, and are now widely considered as being much more frequent and central to language than what has traditionally been acknowledged. Constructionist theories emphasize that the human mind seems to prefer to use prefabricated chunks of linguistic elements (i.e. constructions) when possible, instead of generating sentences from scratch as in the generative grammar approach. Constructions are also gaining a central place in different kinds of computational linguistics applications; examples include machine translation, information retrieval and extraction, tools for language learning, etc. Constructions are an interesting and important phenomenon because they constitute a middleway in the syntax-lexicon continuum, and because they show great potential in tackling infamously difficult computational linguistics tasks like sentiment analysis and language acquisition.

This workshop will encourage submissions in all aspects of constructions-based research, including:

Important dates:

Submission deadline: March 1, 2010
Notification of acceptance: March 30, 2010
Camera ready papers: April 12, 2010
Workshop: June 6, 2010


NAACL HLT 2010, Los Angeles, USA.

Submission procedure:

We invite authors to submit papers via: Submissions should be blind, avoid references to unpublished papers, not exceed 8 pages (including references), and should use the NAACL HLT 2010 style files, available at: Each submission will be reviewed by two members of the program committee.


Magnus Sahlgren, SICS (
Ola Knutsson, KTH (

Program committee:

Benjamin Bergen, University of Hawaii, USA
James Curran, University of Sydney, Australia
Stefan Evert, University of Osnabrück, Germany
Charles Fillmore, University of Berkeley, USA
Jonathan Ginzburg, King's College, UK
Adele Goldberg, Princeton University, USA
Stefan Th. Gries, University of California, USA
Matthew Honnibal, University of Sydney, Australia
Jussi Karlgren, Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden
Krista Lagus, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
Olga Lyashevskaya, University of Tromsø, Norway
Laura Michaelis-Cummings, University of Colorado, USA
Anatol Stefanowitsch, University of Bremen, Germany
Suzanne Stevenson, University of Toronto, Canada
Peter Turney, National Research Council, Canada
Jan-Ola Östman, University of Helsinki, Finland


08:45-09:00 Introduction
09:00-09:30 Towards a Domain Independent Semantics: Enhancing Semantic Representation with Construction Grammar
(Jena D. Hwang, Rodney D. Nielsen and Martha Palmer)
09:30-10:00 Towards an Inventory of English Verb Argument Constructions
(Matthew O'Donnell and Nick Ellis)
10:00-10:30 Identifying Assertions in Text and Discourse: The Presentational Relative Clause Construction
(Cecily Jill Duffield, Jena D. Hwang and Laura A. Michaelis)
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-11:30 StringNet as a Computational Resource for Discovering and Investigating Linguistic Constructions
(David Wible and Nai-Lung Tsao)
11:30-12:00 Syntactic Construct: An Aid for translating English Nominal Compound into Hindi
(Soma Paul, Prashant Mathur and Sushant Kishore)
12:00-12:30 Automatic Extraction of Constructional Schemas
(Gerhard van Huyssteen and Marelie Davel)