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Adaptation of language resources and tools for processing cultiral heritage objects

Workshop at 2012-05-26, Istanbul, Turkey. (87)

Recently, the collaboration between the NLP community and the specialists in various areas of the Humanities has become more efficient and fruitful due to the common aim of exploring and preserving cultural heritage data. It is worth mentioning the efforts made during the digitization campaigns in the last years and within a series of initiatives in the Digital Humanities, especially in making Old Manuscripts available through Digital Libraries. Most parts of these libraries are made available not only to researchers in a certain Humanities domain (such as, classical philologists, historians, historical linguists), but also to common users. This fact has posited new requirements to the functionalities offered by the Digital Libraries, and thus imposed the usage of methods from Language Technology for content analysis and content presentation in a form understandable to the end user. There are several challenges related to the above mentioned issues: Lack of adequate training material for real-size applications: although the Digital Libraries usually cover a large number of documents, it is difficult to collect a statistically significant corpus for a period of time in which the language remained unchanged. In most cases the language historical variants lack firmly established syntactic or morphological structures and that makes the definition of a robust set of rules extremely difficult. Historical texts often constitute a mixture of several languages including Latin, Ancient Greek, Slavonic, etc. Historical texts contain a great number of abbreviations, which follow different models. The conception of the world is somewhat different from ours (that is, different thinking about the Earth, different views in medicine, astronomy, etc.), which makes it more difficult to build the necessary knowledge bases. Having in mind the number of contemporary languages and their historical variants, it is practically impossible to develop brand new language resources and tools for processing older texts. Whenever possible a solution, but at the same time a real challenge, is to investigate how to adapt existing language resources and tools, as well as to provide (where necessary) training material in the form of corpora or lexicons for a certain period of time in history. We are looking for submission of original, unpublished work, related to the following topics: Language tools and resources for analysis of old textual material or language variants Adaptation of LT-tools, developed for modern languages, to the historical variants of the same languages Transcription and transliteration problems and solutions Named Entity recognition for historical texts Development of dedicated historical corpora and lexica (Semi-) automatic extraction of content related metadata Semantic linkage of heterogeneous data within digital libraries Word sense disambiguation in old texts Multilingual issues in historical documents Evaluation of tools for processing of historical texts Submission details Submissions have to be made through the START system of the main LREC 2012 conference at: Papers describing completed work should be no longer than eight pages. Papers describing work in progress should be between four and six pages. The demonstration of prototype systems is particularly encouraged. The authors of papers referring to an existing prototype will be offered the possibility to demonstrate the system in a special session. Papers should follow the LREC formatting guidelines. Papers will be reviewed by minimum 3 members of the Programme Committee. When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of their research.