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Penn Discourse Treebank Workshop 2012

Invitation Letter

Dear Colleague:

The Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB) is a large scale corpus ( annotated with information related to discourse structure and semantics, focusing on "low-level" discourse relations. PDTB annotation follows a lexically-grounded approach that aims to be theory-neutral with respect to other aspects of discourse structure, so that the PDTB can be used within different theoretical frameworks. The discourse relations currently annotated are ones triggered by explicit phrases or structural adjacency. Each relation is further annotated for its two abstract object arguments, its sense, and any attributions associated with the relation as a whole or its arguments. All annotations are aligned with the syntactic constituency annotations of the Penn Treebank (PTB).
The PDTB project is planning a workshop for two and half days from Monday morning, April 30 2012 to Wednesday, May 2 2012, until about noon. The main goals of this workshop are to:

1. Inform a cross section of the actual and potential community of PDTB users about its current status and about results that researchers in the community have obtained with it,

2. Describe our plans for substantially augmenting its annotation, with the aim of further enhancing the usability of the corpus resource for NLP and linguistic research,

3.  Get feedback from the community on these plans, which will help us sharpen them to best suit the community, and

4. Hear about efforts underway to extend the PDTB-type of approach to languages other than English and genres other than those found in news corpora, and discuss issues that these efforts have revealed.

We plan to invite three types of participants: (1) those who have used PDTB to do some experiments and/or for some applications, (2) those who are pursuing PDTB type annotations (or related schemes) for languages other than English either for text corpora or dialogues, and (3) those who have worked on more general schemes for discourse annotation or those who are experts in NLP and are interested in discourse but have not worked on it directly but who are in a position to comment on the long term  future of resources such as PDTB.

We believe that your contribution will best fit in Category 1 above. Of course, this does not by any means prevent you from making comments pertaining to the other categories.
With the above background information, it is our great pleasure to invite you for this PDTB 2012 workshop and we hope you will accept our invitation and actively participate in this workshop. We would appreciate your response as quickly as possible. We will cover your travel expenses as well as the hotel expenses, and a per diem allowance.

Please let us know about your acceptance of our invitation as soon as you can, preferably by October 25, 2011 or earlier.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us as soon as possible.


Best wishes,
Aravind Joshi, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA USA <joshi AT>
Rashmi Prasad, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI USA <rjprasad AT>
Bonnie Webber, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh UK <bonnie AT>