Proceedings of the 10th Web as Corpus Workshop (WAC-X) and the EmpiriST Shared Task

Abstract

The World Wide Web has become increasingly popular as a source of linguistic data, not only within the NLP communities, but also with theoretical linguists facing problems of data sparseness or data diversity. Accordingly, web corpora continue to gain importance, given their size and diversity in terms of genres/text types. The field is still new, though, and a number of issues in web corpus construction need much additional research, both fundamental and applied. These issues range from questions of corpus design (e.g., assessment of corpus composition, sampling strategies and their relation to crawling algorithms, and handling of duplicated material) to more technical aspects (e.g., efficient implementation of individual post-processing steps in document cleaning and linguistic annotation, or large-scale parallelization to achieve web-scale corpus construction). Similarly, the systematic evaluation of web corpora, for example in the form of task based comparisons to traditional corpora, has only recently shifted into focus. For almost a decade, the ACL SIGWAC (http://www.sigwac.org.uk/), and especially the highly successful Web as Corpus (WAC) workshops have served as a platform for researchers interested in compilation, processing and application of web-derived corpora. Past workshops were co-located with major conferences on computational linguistics and/or corpus linguistics (such as EACL, NAACL, LREC, WWW, and Corpus Linguistics). WAC-X also featured the final workshop of the EmpiriST 2015 shared task “Automatic Linguistic Annotation of Computer-Mediated Communication / Social Media” (see https://sites.google.com/site/empirist2015/ for details) and the panel discussion “Corpora, open science, and copyright reforms” (see https://www.sigwac.org.uk/wiki/WAC-X#paneldisc for details).

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