Workshop on Linguistic Distances

In Sydney, Australia with COLING/ACL 2006

Notions of similarity are often invoked in linguistic areas such as dialectology, historical linguistics, stylometry, second-language learning (as a measure of learners’ proficiency), psycholinguistics (accounting for lexical “neighborhood” effects, where neighborhoods are defined by similarity) and even in theoretical linguistics (novel accounts of the phonological constraints on semitic roots).

This volume reports on a workshop aimed at bringing together researchers employing various measures of linguistic distance or similarity, including novel proposals, especially to demonstrate the importance of the abstract properties of such measures (consistency, validity, stability over corpus size, computability, fidelity to the mathematical distance axioms), but also to exchange information on how to analyze distance information further.