Joint Workshop on Multiword Expressions and Electronic Lexicons (MWE-LEX 2020)

In Barcelona, Spain Online with COLING 2020

Endorsed by SIGLEX.

Joint Workshop on Multiword Expressions and Electronic Lexicons (MWE-LEX 2020)

COLING (Barcelona, Spain), December 13th, 2020
Final call for papers

Organised, sponsored and endorsed by:

SIGLEX, the Special Interest Group on the Lexicon of the ACL ELEXIS - European Lexicographic Infrastructure

This joint workshop addresses two domains – multiword expressions and (electronic) lexicons – with partly overlapping communities and research interests, but divergent practices and terminologies. Multiword expressions (MWEs) are word combinations, such as by and large, hot dog, pay a visit or pull ones leg, which exhibit lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic or statistical idiosyncrasies. MWEs encompass closely related linguistic objects: idioms, compounds, light-verb constructions, rhetorical figures, institutionalised phrases and collocations. Because of their unpredictable behavior, notably their non- compositional semantics, MWEs pose problems in linguistic modelling (e.g. treebank annotation, grammar engineering), NLP pipelines (notably when orchestrated with parsing), and end-user applications (e.g. information extraction). Modelling and processing of MWEs has been the topic of the MWE workshop, organised over the past years by the MWE section of SIGLEX.

Because MWE-hood is a largely lexical phenomenon, appropriately built electronic MWE lexicons turn out to be quite important for NLP. Their conception opens up, among others, the issues of lemmatisation and of standardised representation of morphological, syntactic and semantic properties of MWEs. Large standardised multilingual, possibly interconnected, NLP-oriented MWE lexicons prove indispensable for NLP tasks such as MWE identification, due to its critical sensitivity to unseen data. But the development of such lexicons is challenging and calls for tools which would leverage, on the one hand, MWEs encoded in pre-existing NLP- unaware lexicons and, on the other hand, automatic MWE discovery in large non-annotated corpora.

In order to pave the way towards a better understanding of these issues, and to foster convergence and scientific innovation, the MWE and ELEXIS (European Union Horizon 2020 research grant 731015) communities put forward a joint All papers should be submitted via the workshop START space Please follow the guidelines and use the COLING 2020 style files available at Please choose the appropriate track (research/shared task) and for research papers the submission modality (long/short).


MWE-LEX 2020 will host edition 1.2 of the PARSEME shared task on semi-supervised identification of MWEs. This is a follow-up of editions 1.0 (2017), and 1.1 (2018). Edition 1.2 features (a) improved and extended corpora annotated with MWEs, (b) complementary unannotated corpora for unsupervised MWE discovery, and (c) evaluation focusing on unseen MWEs. Following the synergy with Elexis, our aim is to foster the development of unsupervised methods for MWE lexicon induction, which in turn can be used for identification. Authors may submit system description papers to the shared task track. Details are available at


All deadlines are at 23:59 UTC-12 (anywhere in the world).


Research track, MWE-specific topics:

Research track, MWE-LEX topics:

Shared task track:



For any inquiries regarding the workshop please send an email to


The workshop supports the ACL anti-harassment policy.