I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) Special Interest Group on Linguistic Typology*, SIGTYP (the SIG) shall be:
to promote interest in Typology in NLP/CL including aspects such as
— language-independence in training, architecture design, and hyperparameter tuning;
— the use of typological information in NLP tasks where such information has not been investigated yet;
— the use of typological knowledge for interpretation of hidden representations of multilingual neural models;
— improvement and completion of typological databases;
— integration of typological features in language transfer and joint multilingual learning;
— automatic inference of typological features;
— explorations of computational models that might explain typological variation
— to provide members of the ACL with a special interest in Typology with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments and other matters of interest in typology;
— to organize annual workshops collocated with *ACL/ALT conferences and shared task on Typology;
— to collaborate with ARC COEDL (Centre of Excellence for Dynamics of Language) and design, develop, and promote computational approaches to study linguistic typology (incl. COEDL Summer School courses/tutorials);
— to sponsor meetings and workshops in Typology that appear to be timely and worthwhile, operating within the framework of the ACL's general guidelines for SIGs.
* Linguistic Typology is the study of the diversity of the myriad of languages of the world as it is manifested in their grammatical, lexical, sociolinguistic or other properties. It encompasses both the description of this diversity, its explanations and its industrial application.
SIGEL (SIG on Endangered Languages), SIGHAN (SIG on Chinese Language), SIGMORPHON (SIG on Morphology, Phonology, and Phonetics), SIGSLAV (SIG on Slavic NLP), SIGUR (SIG on Uralic Languages).
Many related SIGs aim to address NLP problems or develop corpora and models for certain languages or language families (such as Slavic or Uralic or any endangered languages) only by taking into account language-specific features. In contrast, SIGTYP focuses on the diversity of world languages and studies cross-linguistic generalizations in order to achieve language-independence in training, architecture design and fine-tuning. Unlike SIGMORPHON, SIGTYP is broader and doesnot restrict itself to morphology, phonology, and phonetics because languages differ in the way they express concepts and relations between them, and something that is expressed morphologically in one language might be a part of syntax in another (not mentioning that many typological features such as some of those listed in WALS are related to syntax as well)
Importantly, unlike other SIGs, SIGTYP aims to provide computational tools for linguistic typology to perform cross-lingual analysis and comparison as well as methods to improve and complete typological databases.
Finally, we would like to provide linguists with *interpretable* models since most of them are more interested in parameter estimation (and correlations) than prediction (as most NLP).
II. ELECTED OFFICERS
The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President and a Secretary. The President and Secretary shall be members in good standing of the ACL.
The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall be one year.
The duties of the President shall be:
(1) To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG;
(2) To prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the Executive Committee of the ACL, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting;
(3) To designate a Liaison Representative for the SIG, who shall be primarily responsible for communication with members of the SIG, answering inquiries about the SIG, and communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL;
(4) To ensure that the Executive Committee considers appropriate opportunities to sponsor (or co-sponsor) meetings and workshops; and to designate the primary organizers (or co-organizers) of any such meetings and workshops, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
The duties of the Secretary shall be:
(1) To maintain a membership roster of the SIG;
(2) To be responsible for any money awarded to the SIG by the ACL; to collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization; and to present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL;
(3) To conduct elections and referenda as mandated below, or to delegate this responsibility.
III. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
All officers of the SIG shall be elected by a vote of the membership.
Voting shall commence at least two months before the expiration of the current terms of the officers, and voting shall close on that expiration date. Four weeks prior to the commencement of voting, SIG members will be given notice to submit nominations for SIG officers. Each nomination must be seconded by two SIG members and must provide evidence that the nominee will serve if elected.
Where there is only one nominee for a given position, the nominee will be declared elected. If there is more than one nominee for any position a vote shall take place. Votes may be entered by electronic mail or other designated means, and votes arriving by the notified closing date will be counted by the Secretary or another officer appointed by the Executive Committee. Any nominee receiving a majority of the votes will be declared elected. The new positions will become active immediately after the announcement of the results, and the previous officers will remain active for three months to ease the transition.
If a vacancy occurs among the officers of the SIG, the remaining SIG officers may nominate a replacement officer who will serve out the remainder of the previous office holder’s term.
Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee of the ACL, the SIG may levy annual membership dues, where the rate is determined by the Executive Committee. In certain circumstances, the Executive Committee may decide to waive the fee.