The Mathematics of Language (MoL) special interest group traces its origins to a meeting held in October 1984 at Ann Arbor, Michigan. While MoL is among the oldest SIGs of the ACL, it is the first time that the proceedings are produced by our parent organization. The first volume was published by Benjamins, later ones became special issues of the Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence and Linguistics and Philosophy, and for the last three occasions (really six years, since MoL only meets every second year) we relied on the Springer LNCS series. Perhaps the main reason for this aloofness was that the past three decades have brought the ascendancy of statistical methods in computational linguistics, with the formal, grammar-based methods that were the mainstay of mathematical linguistics viewed with increasing suspicion.
To make matters worse, the harsh anti-formal rhetoric of leading linguists relegated important attempts at formalizing Government-Binding and later Minimalist theory to the fringes of syntax. Were it not for phonology and morphology, where the incredibly efficient finite state methods pioneered by Kimmo Koskenniemi managed to bridge the gap between computational practice and linguistic theory, and were it not for the realization that the mathematical approach has no alternative in machine learning, MoL could have easily disappeared from the frontier of research.
The current volume marks a time when we can begin to see the computational and the theoretical linguistics camps together again. The selection of papers, while still strong on phonology (Heinz and Lai, Heinz and Rogers) and morphology (Kornai et al.), extends well to syntax (Hunter and Dyer, Fowlie) and semantics (Clark et al., Fernando). Direct computational concerns such as machine translation (Martzoukos et al.), decoding (Corlett and Penn), and complexity (Berglund et al.) are now clearly seen as belonging to the core focus of the field.
The 10 papers presented in this volume were selected by the Program Committee from 16 submissions. We would like to thank the authors, the members of the Program Committee, and our invited speaker for their contributions to the planning and execution of the workshop, and the ACL conference organizers, especially Aoife Cahill and Qun Liu (workshops), and Roberto Navigli and Jing-Shin Chang (publications) for their significant contributions to the overall management of the workshop and their direction in preparing the publication of the proceedings.
Association for Computational Linguistics , 2013. , 105 p.
Proceedings of The 13th Meeting on the Mathematics of Language, August 9, Sofia, Bulgaria