Dr. Alexis M.
Building C7.2, Room 2.08
my CV (October 2013)
Project: NLP Tools for Low-Resource Languages
First meeting: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 4:15pm, C72 room 2.11
Computational Linguistics for Low-Resource Languages (CL4LRL)
First meeting: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 14:15-15:45, Conference room C72 (2.11)
CL4LRL wiki: current info
Contact me for access information; all users welcome!
In a broad sense, my research aims to improve
performance in natural language processing by developing more
linguistically-informed approaches and models, drawing on my
background as a linguist, particularly in the areas of syntax,
semantics and discourse. I have two main areas of research:
computational linguistics for low-resource languages (CL4LRL), and
computational discourse and semantics.
Computational linguistics for low-resource languages
Methods developed for languages with extensive digital
resources are not straightforwardly applicable to under-studied
languages, and attempts to adapt such methods raise an
obvious-sounding but crucial underlying issue: we will never have the
amount of data for these languages that we do for more widely-studied
languages. We need to make clever use of the resources we have,
considering how to fold linguistic information into data-driven
models. My interests in this area are both theoretical and practical,
and I am especially interested in the particular low-resource case of
endangered language documentation and description. At present, I am
interested in facilitating creation of new language resources as well
as improving our capacity to develop tools for linguistic analysis of
a new language using minimal amounts of data.
Computational discourse and semantics
this area my recent work has been on semantic role labeling (SRL),
mostly in the FrameNet
paradigm. Recent work has focused on the interaction between
discourse level information and semantic argument structure, aiming
both to improve the robustness of SRL approaches and to incorporate
more context for labeling individual sentences. In addition
to SRL, I work on the automatic classification of situation entities
in text, as a step toward better machine handling of
Other research interests
Other areas of interest include syntax and semantics of Ojibwe (an Algonquian language), grammar engineering (see the OpenCCG project),
machine learning and active learning, structure of discourse and the discourse-syntax interface, indigenous languages of the Americas, and relationships between language and music.
Semi-Automatic Annotation and
Active Learning for Language Documentation (defended October 2009)
My dissertation work uses machine learning and NLP techniques, including active learning, in the context of the documentation and description of endangered languages. With supervisors Jason Baldridge and Katrin Erk and colleague Taesun Moon, I worked on methods for decreasing the time and effort needed to produce interlinear glossed text (IGT) from transcribed texts in language documentation projects. This work was done in part under the auspices of the EARL (Efficient Annotation of Resources by Learning) project.
presentations, other activities
* Andrea Horbach, Alexis Palmer, and Manfred Pinkal
Using the text to evaluate short answers for reading comprehension exercises
*SEM (star-sem) 2013, Atlanta, Georgia
* Alexis Palmer, Caroline Sporleder, and Linlin Li
So to Speak: A Computational and Empirical Investigation of Lexical
Cohesion of Non-Literal and Literal Expressions in Text
Discours: Revue de linguistique, psycholinguistique et informatique, v.11
* Richard Littauer, Rory Turnbull, and Alexis Palmer
Visualising Typological Relationships: Plotting WALS with Heat
LINGVIS Workshop at EACL 2012, Avignon
* Alexis Palmer, Afra Alishahi, and Caroline Sporleder
Robust Semantic Analysis for Unseen Data in FrameNet
RANLP 2011, Hissar, Bulgaria.
* Chenhua Chen, Alexis Palmer, and Caroline Sporleder
Enhancing Active Learning for Semantic Role Labeling via Compressed Dependency Trees
IJCNLP 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
* Alexis Palmer, Taesun Moon, Jason Baldridge, Katrin Erk, Eric
Campbell, and Telma Can.
Computational strategies for reducing
annotation effort in language documentation.
Linguistic Issues in Language Technology. 3(4):1-42, February 2010.
* Alexis Palmer and Caroline Sporleder
Evaluating FrameNet-style semantic parsing: the role
of coverage gaps in FrameNet
COLING 2010, Beijing
* Ines Rehbein, Josef Ruppenhofer, and Alexis Palmer
Bringing Active Learning to Life
COLING 2010, Beijing
* Caroline Sporleder, Linlin Li, and Alexis Palmer
Cohesive Links with Literal and Idiomatic Expressions in Discourse: An
Empirical and Computational Study
Approaches to Discourse 2010 (MAD 2010), Moissac, France
Submitted to special issue of Discours
* Alexis Palmer and Caroline Sporleder
Situation entities and genre
distinctions in the Penn Discourse TreeBank (abstract)
Presented at TLS
2009, Austin, Texas
* Jason Baldridge and Alexis Palmer
How well does active learning actually work? Time-based evaluation of cost-reduction strategies for language documentation,
EMNLP 2009, Singapore
* Alexis Palmer, Taesun Moon, and Jason Baldridge
strategies in language documentation,
NAACL HLT 2009 Workshop on Active Learning for Natural Language Processing, Boulder, CO
* Invited working group participant and
co-chair, Cyberling 2009,
Workshop at LSA 2009 Summer Institute, Berkeley
* Talk given at FEAST,
Computational linguistics and language documentation:
evaluating automation strategies for documenting endangered
* Nicholas Gaylord, Stephen Hilderbrand, Alexis Palmer, and Elias Ponvert, eds.
Proceedings of TLSX 2006: Computational Linguistics for Less-Studied Languages,
CSLI: Stanford, CA
* Alexis Palmer, Elias Ponvert, Jason
Baldridge, and Carlota Smith
A Sequence Model
Entity Classification, ACL 2007, Prague
Palmer and Katrin Erk
IGT-XML: An XML
interlinearized glossed text, ACL 2007 Linguistic Annotation Workshop,
* Jason Baldridge, Sudipta Chatterjee, Alexis Palmer, and Ben Wing
DotCCG and VisCCG: Wiki and
Programming Paradigms for Improved Grammar Engineering with OpenCCG,
Engineering Across Frameworks, workshop at LSA 2007
Summer Institute, Stanford
Invited working group participant, Toward Interoperability of
Workshop at LSA 2007 Summer
* Pascal Denis, Eric
McCready, Alexis Palmer, and Brian Reese, eds.
Proceedings of TLS8: Issues at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface,
* Co-chair, TLSX conference --
Computational Linguistics for Less-Studied Languages
* Invited working group participant, EMELD
2006: Tools and
Standards: The State of the Art
* Invited working group participant, Digital
Tools Summit in Linguistics
* Coordinator, 4th Workshop on
* Alexis Palmer, Jonas Kuhn, and Carlota Smith
Utilization of Multiple Language
Resources for Robust Grammar-Based Tense and Aspect Classification,
LREC 2004, Lisbon
* Grammatical Inverse, Pragmatic Inverse, WAIL
2004, Santa Barbara, CA
* Co-organizer, TLS8 conference -- Issues at the
* Inverse Agreement,
Argument Structure, and Hierarchy-Driven Phenomena in Ojibwe, WAIL
2003, Santa Barbara, CA
LIN312: Language and Music F05, F06, F08
This is a course of my own design on language and music. All course materials are available on Blackboard to students registered for the class. If you are interested in the course materials but do not have access to the Blackboard class site, please email me!
LIN306: Introduction to the Study of Language S04, F04
This is the department's introductory linguistics course. We cover topics from all of the major subfields of linguistics, and then some.
Teaching assistantships F02, S05, S06
I have been a teaching assistant for graduate-level Syntax I, undergraduate-level semantics, and the undergraduate intro course.
Music and other interests
I play French horn
(the Saarland University Big Band) and the
Saarland University horn quartet. I used to play with the
Austin Symphonic Band, a community wind ensemble.
I (used to) play in the Austin Handbell Ensemble, a semi-professional community ensemble. It's unlike anything you've seen or heard before!
These days I attempt my own at-home yoga
practice. I used to do yoga at Yoga Yoga, an Austin studio.
last modified: October 15, 2013