17th Workshop on Multiword Expressions - first CfP

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Shiva Taslimipoor

Jan 11, 2021, 6:14:55 PM1/11/21
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[apologies for any cross-posting]

17th Workshop on Multiword Expressions (MWE 2021)

Colocated with ACL-IJCNLP 2021 (Bangkok, Thailand), 5 or 6 August 2021
Organised and sponsored by: SIGLEX, the Special Interest Group on the Lexicon of the ACL

*** Deadline: April 19, 2021 ***


Multiword expressions (MWEs) are word combinations which exhibit lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and/or statistical idiosyncrasies (Baldwin & Kim 2010), such as by and large, hot dog, pay a visit and pull one's leg. The notion encompasses closely related phenomena: idioms, compounds, light-verb constructions, rhetorical figures, institutionalised phrases, collocations, etc. The behaviour of MWEs is often unpredictable, in particular their meanings are not regularly composed of the meanings of their parts. Thus, MWEs are a major challenge in computational linguistics (Constant et al. 2017), including linguistic modelling (e.g. treebanking), computational modelling (e.g. parsing), and end-user NLP applications (e.g. natural language understanding, machine translation, and social media mining).

Modelling and processing MWEs for NLP has been the topic of the MWE workshop organised by the MWE section of SIGLEX in conjunction with major NLP conferences since 2003. Although much progress has been made in the field, MWE processing in end-user NLP tasks is currently under-explored, and most studies still introduce MWEs as future work. Nonetheless, there are recent studies in which MWEs gained particular attention in end-user applications, including machine translation (Zaninello & Birch 2020), text simplification (Kochmar et al. 2020, Liu & Hwa 2016), language learning and assessment (Paquot et al. 2019, Christiansen & Arnon 2017), social media mining (Maisto et al. 2017), and abusive language detection (Zampieri et al. 2020, Caselli et al. 2020).

The special focus for this 17th edition of the workshop is on MWE processing in end-user applications such as those listed above. On the one hand, the PARSEME shared tasks (Ramisch et al. 2020, Ramisch et al. 2018, Savary et al. 2017), among others, fostered significant progress in MWE identification, providing datasets, evaluation measures and tools that now allow fully integrating MWE identification into end-user applications. On the other hand, NLP seems to be shifting towards end-to-end neural models capable of solving complex end-user tasks with little or no intermediary linguistic symbols, questioning the extent to which MWEs should be implicitly or explicitly modelled. Therefore, one goal of this workshop is to bring together and encourage researchers in various NLP subfields to submit MWE-related research, so that approaches that deal with MWEs in various applications could benefit from each other.

Following the success of previous joint workshops LAW-MWE-CxG 2018, MWE-WN 2019 and MWE-LEX 2020, we further extend the scope of the workshop to MWEs in e-lexicons and WordNets, MWE annotation, as well as grammatical constructions. 

The 17th Workshop on MWEs invites submissions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

Traditional MWE topics:

  • Computationally-applicable theoretical work on MWEs and constructions in psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics

  • MWE and construction annotation and representation in resources such as corpora, treebanks, e-lexicons and WordNets

  • Processing of MWEs and constructions in syntactic and semantic frameworks (e.g. CCG, CxG, HPSG, LFG, TAG, UD, etc.)

  • Discovery and identification methods for MWEs and constructions

  • MWEs and constructions in language acquisition, language learning, and non-standard language (e.g. tweets, speech)

  • Evaluation of annotation and processing techniques for MWEs and constructions 

  • Retrospective comparative analyses from the PARSEME shared tasks on automatic identification of MWEs

Topics on MWEs and end-user applications:

  • Processing of MWEs and constructions in end-user applications (e.g. MT, NLU, summarisation, social media mining, computer assisted language learning)

  • Implicit and explicit representation of MWEs and constructions in end-user applications

  • Evaluation of end-user applications concerning MWEs and constructions

  • Resources and tools for MWEs and constructions (e.g. lexicons, identifiers) in end-user applications


Pursuing the MWE Section's tradition of synergies with other communities and in accordance with ACL-IJCNLP 2021's theme track on NLP for social good, we will organise a joint session with the Workshop on Online  Abuse and Harm (WOAH). We believe that MWEs are important in online abuse detection, and that the latter can provide an interesting testbed for MWE processing technology. The main goal is to pave the way towards the creation of data for a shared task involving both communities. The format of the session is under discussion, and we welcome suggestions from the community. Submissions describing research on MWEs and abusive language, especially introducing new datasets, are also welcome.


  • Long papers (8 content pages + references) should report on solid and finished research including new experimental results, resources and/or techniques.

  • Short papers (4 content pages + references) should report on small experiments, focused contributions, ongoing research, negative results and/or philosophical discussion.

In regular research papers, the reported research should be substantially original. Papers available as preprints can also be submitted provided that they fulfil the conditions defined by the ACL Policies for Submission, Review and Citation. Notice that double submission to ACL-IJCNLP 2021 main conference and MWE 2021 is allowed but should be notified at submission time, as per the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 call for papers: "[...] papers can be dual-submitted to both ACL-IJCNLP 2021 and an ACL-IJCNLP 2021 workshop which has its submission deadline falling before our notification date of May 5, 2021."

Submission is **double-blind** as per the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 guidelines. For all types of submission, the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 templates must be used. There is no limit on the number of reference pages. An extra page will be allowed to take the reviewers' comments into account in the final versions of accepted papers (long = 9 content pages, short = 5 content pages).

The decisions as to oral or poster presentations of the selected papers will be taken by the PC chairs, depending on the available infrastructure for participation (presential and/or virtual). No distinction between papers presented orally and as posters is made in the workshop proceedings.

All papers should be submitted via the workshop's START space, available soon. Please choose the appropriate submission modality (long/short).


For any inquiries regarding the workshop please send an email to mwework...@gmail.com


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

  • April 19, 2021: Paper Submission Deadline

  • May 28, 2021: Notification of Acceptance

  • June 7, 2021: Camera-ready papers due

  • August 5 or 6, 2021: Workshop (Date TBD)


  • Program chairs: Paul Cook, Jelena Mitrović, Carla Parra Escartín and Ashwini Vaidya

  • Publication chairs: Petya Osenova and Shiva Taslimipoor

  • Communication chair: Carlos Ramisch

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