Morphologically Rich Languages (MRLs) are languages in which grammatical relations such as Subject, Predicate, Object, etc., are indicated morphologically (e.g. through inflection) instead of positionally (as in, e.g. English), and the position of words and phrases in the sentence may vary substantially. The tight connection between the morphology of words and the grammatical relations between them, and the looser connection between the position and grouping of words to their syntactic roles, pose serious challenges for syntactic and semantic processing. Furthermore, since grammatical relations provide the interface to compositional semantics, morpho-syntactic phenomena may significantly complicate processing the syntax--semantics interface. In statistical parsing, which has been a cornerstone of research in NLP and had seen great advances due to the widespread availability of syntactically annotated corpora, English parsing performance has reached a high plateau in certain genres, which is however not always indicative of parsing performance in MRLs, dependency-based and constituency-based alike . Semantic processing of natural language has similarly seen much progress in recent years. However, as in parsing, the bulk of the work has concentrated on English, and MRLs may present processing challenges that the community is as of yet unaware of, and which current semantic processing technologies may have difficulty coping with. These challenges may lurk in areas where parses may be used as input, such as semantic role labeling, distributional semantics, paraphrasing and textual entailments, or where inadequate pre-processing of morphological variation hurts parsing and semantic tasks alike.
This joint workshop aims to build upon the first and second SPMRL workshops (at NAACL-HLT 2010 and IWPT 2011, respectively) while extending the overall scope to include semantic processing where MRLs pose challenges for algorithms or models initially designed to process English. In particular, we seek to explore the use of newly available syntactically and/or semantically annotated corpora, or data sets for semantic evaluation that can contribute to our understanding of the difficulty that such phenomena pose. One goal of this workshop is to encourage cross-fertilization among researchers working on different languages and among those working on different levels of processing. Of particular interest is work addressing the lexical sparseness and out-of-vocabulary (OOV) issues that occur in both syntactic and semantic processing.