Cambridge NLE Special Issue

NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects

We welcome submissions to the special issue of the Cambridge University Press journal Natural Language Engineering on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects.

The deadline for submissions is November 5, 2018.


Recent initiatives in language technology have led to the development of at least minimal language processing toolkits for all EU-official languages, as well as for languages with a large number of speakers worldwide such as Chinese and Arabic. This is a big step toward the automatic processing and/or extraction of information, especially from official documents and newspapers, where the standard, literary language is used.

Apart from those official languages, a large number of dialects or closely-related language varieties are in daily use, not only as spoken colloquial languages but also in written media and social networks. Building language resources and tools from scratch is expensive, but the efforts can often be reduced by making use of pre-existing resources and tools for related, resource-richer languages.

The interest in language resources and computational models for the study of similar languages, language varieties and dialects has been growing substantially in recent years. This is evidenced by a number of publications on this topic in NLP journals and conferences and the organization of the now well-established VarDial workshop series co-located yearly with top-tier NLP conferences.

Call for Papers

We welcome papers dealing with one or more of the following topics:

  • Language resources and tools for similar languages, varieties and dialects
  • Adaptation of tools (taggers, parsers) for similar languages, varieties and dialects;
  • Evaluation of language resources and tools when applied to language varieties;
  • Reusability of language resources in NLP applications (e.g., for machine translation, POS tagging, syntactic parsing, etc.);
  • Corpus-driven studies in dialectology and language variation;
  • Computational approaches to the study of mutual intelligibility between dialects and similar languages;
  • Automatic identification of lexical variation;
  • Automatic classification of language varieties;
  • Text similarity and adaptation between language varieties;
  • Linguistic issues in the adaptation of language resources and tools (e.g., semantic discrepancies, lexical gaps, false friends);
  • Machine translation between closely related languages, language varieties and dialects.

Examples of language varieties include pluricentric languages like English, Spanish, French or Portuguese and examples of pairs of related languages include Swedish-Norwegian, Bulgarian-Macedonian, Serbian-Bosnian, Russian-Ukrainian, Irish-Gaelic Scottish, Malay-Indonesian, Turkish–Azerbaijani, Mandarin-Cantonese, Hindi–Urdu, and many other.

Important Dates

    • Deadline for submissions: 15 October 2018 5 November 2018
    • First-round author notification: 5 January 2019 25 February 2019
    • Submission of revised versions: 15 February 2019 20 March 2019
    • Second-round author notification (final): 1 April 2019 30 April 2019
    • Camera-ready versions: 15 April 2019 15 May 2019


Instructions for preparing your manuscript for the journal Natural Language Engineering are available here.

Please submit your article through the NLE manuscript submission system. When submitting your manuscript, please select NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects in the field Special Issue Designation.

Guest Editors

Guest Editorial Board

  • Željko Agić, IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Ahmed Ali, Qatar Computing Research Institute, HBKU (Qatar)
  • Eric Atwell, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Houda Bouamor, Carnegie-Mellon University in Qatar (Qatar)
  • Marta Costa-Jussà, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain)
  • Jon Dehdari, Think Big Analytics (United States)
  • Nadir K. Durrani, HBKU (Qatar)
  • Mikel L. Forcada, Universitat d'Alacant (Spain)
  • Pablo Gamallo, University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
  • Binyam Gebrekidan Gebre, Phillips Research (The Netherlands)
  • Jack Grieve, University of Birmingham (UK)
  • Tommi Jauhiainen, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Ekaterina Lapshinova-Koltunski, Saarland University (Germany)
  • Surafel Melaku Lakew, FBK (Italy)
  • Lung-Hao Lee, National Central University (Taiwan)
  • Nikola Ljubešić, Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia) and University of Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Shervin Malmasi, Amazon (United States)
  • Petya Osenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria)
  • Santanu Pal, Saarland University (Germany)
  • Barbara Plank, IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Taraka Rama, University of Oslo (Norway)
  • Paolo Rosso, Technical University of Valencia (Spain)
  • Fatiha Sadat, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) (Canada)
  • Hassan Sajjad, Qatar Computing Research Institute, HBKU (Qatar)
  • Tanja Samardžić, University of Zurich (Switzerland)
  • Kevin Scannell, Saint Louis University (United States)
  • Yves Scherrer, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Miikka Silfverberg, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Serge Sharoff, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Liling Tan, Rakuten Institute of Technology (Singapore)
  • Jörg Tiedemann, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Francis Tyers, Indiana University (United States)
  • Wajdi Zaghouani, HBKU (Qatar)

More names to be confirmed.