Call for Papers

Final CALL FOR EXTENDED ABSTRACTS !!extended deadline: April 13!!

Workshop on *Ambiguity: Perspectives on Representation and Resolution (ARR)*

Workshop at ESSLLI 2018
August 6-10, 2018


Gemma Boleda (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Diego Valota (Università degli Studi di Milano)


Natural language is overloaded in the sense that linguistic symbols
can, and usually have, two or more (but enumerably many) possible
interpretations from which the hearer has to choose a specific one
without being explicitely told to do so. This is what we want to call
ambiguity, distinguishing it from the notions of underspecification
and vagueness. Understood in this general way, ambiguity exists and
arises on virtually all levels of linguistic modelling, and resolving
ambiguity undoubtly is one of the main challenges when dealing with
language in communication.

As a consequence of this diversity, a variety of perspectives exists
on how to represent and resolve ambiguity. Also depending on the
linguistic object at hand, some represent ambiguity in the semantics
by means of, for example, plain disjunction, complex types, or game
theoretic models. Some leave it to syntax and assume, for example, two
lexical entries for /bank/ that reflect the two different readings. At
the same time, however, it is still unclear what semantic ambiguity
should be attributed to in logical terms. Finally, if resolution
fails, from a philosophical or inferential point of view, one should
be interested in the question: given a sentence ambiguous between two
readings, does another sentence follow from the two of them? Hence
possible treatments of ambiguity include resolution, representation
and reasoning.

Our main goal is hence to work towards a unified perspective on
ambiguity, and for this, we want to bring together researchers from
various backgrounds (linguistics, computational linguistics, computer
science, logic, philosophy) to approach (among other) the following

1. How can ambiguity be represented in terms of logic, distributional
vectors, weighted (deep) networks etc.?

2. Is there a “core” notion of ambiguity, and what does it look like?
How does it relate to similar phenomena such as polysemy?

3. What sort of ambiguity should be treated in semantics proper? In
particular, when does one want to get rid of ambiguity, and when
should we prefer to keep track of it?

4. What can be gained by combining different approaches to ambiguity,
for example simple context-based word disambiguation and
disambiguation based on semantic content? Are there underlying methods
which always work (e.g. game theory)?

5. What sort of knowledge is needed for resolving ambiguity? And how
can the interaction between knowledge and resolution be modelled?

6. How can we formalize the distinction between polysemy (including
metonymy) and homonymy? Where do we need this distinction, and where

7. What constraints exists on which meanings an ambiguous term can
have? And how can we capture this?

Our special focus is thus on bringing together approaches seeing
ambiguity as a mere computational problem and approaches seeing it as
a linguistic phenomenon with some interest in itself.


The conference invites extended abstracts related to themes including
but not limited to:

The semantic content of ambiguity and its properties
Disambiguation tasks
Vector-based semantics, ambiguity and disambiguation
Ambiguity as a syntactic and/or semantic phenomenon: differences and common ground
How much semantics is needed to handle ambiguity? Are simple contexts sufficient?

These topics do not restrict the scope of contributions; actually we would
like to encourage a variety of submissions relating to any dimension
of ambiguity.


April *13*, submission deadline (extended deadline)
May 02, notification
May 14, camera-ready version

Deadlines are midnight Pacific Standard Time (UTC−8).


Extended abstracts should lay out original, unpublished research
and/or implementation results. We invite extended abstracts of 2
pages, excluding references. All submissions are electronic and in PDF
format via the EasyChair system. Information about the author(s) and
other identifying information such as obvious self-references (e.g.,
“We showed in [12] …”) and financial or personal acknowledgements
should be omitted in the submitted abstracts whenever feasible.

Extended abstracts may contain a clearly marked appendix and data
files to support its claims. While reviewers are urged to consult this
extra material for better comprehension, it is at their discretion
whether they do so. Such extra material should also be anonymized to
the extent feasible.

Use the following link for submission:


Depending on number and quality of submissions, and interest of
authors, we plan to edit a special issue of worked out papers of
contributions to the workshop.


Chairs & Organizers

Timm Lichte (Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf)
Christian Wurm (Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf)

Email: ambiguity2018 at phil dot hhu dot de

Further information about the conference is available at the website:

Call for Papers