3rd International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change 2022 (LChange'22)

The workshop builds upon its first iteration in 2019, and the second edition in 2021. It will be colocated with ACL 2022 in Dublin , Ireland, as a hybrid event. The workshop dates are May 26-27. This year, LChange will feature a shared task on semantic change detection for Spanish as one track of the workshop. We hope to make this third edition another resounding success!

The call for papers is be similar to last time: all aspects around computational approaches to historical language change with the focus on digital text corpora. If you have published in the field previously, and are interested in helping out in the PC to review papers, send us an email. LChange'19 resulted in a book on Computational approaches to semantic change, and this year, we are considering a special issue journal for invited workshop papers.

This year we will offer mentoring for PhD students and young researchers in one-on-one meetings during the workshop. If you are interested, send us a short description of your work and we will set you up with one of the organizers of this workshop. If your paper is rejected from the workshop, we can also provide advice on improving it for future submission. This offer is limited, and will be chosen based on topical fit and availability of appropriate mentors. Deadline for applying for mentorship is May 30th via email.

Important Dates

  • Feb. 28, 2022: Paper submission
  • March 26, 2022: Notification of acceptance
  • March 30, 2022: Deadline for mentorship application
  • April 10, 2022: Camera-ready papers due
  • May 26-27, 2022: Workshop date

Workshop Topics

This workshop explores state-of-the-art computational methodologies, theories and digital text resources on exploring the time-varying nature of human language.

The aim of this workshop is three-fold. First, we want to provide pioneering researchers who work on computational methods, evaluation, and large-scale modelling of language change an outlet for disseminating cutting-edge research on topics concerning language change. We want to utilize this proposed workshop as a platform for sharing state-of-the-art research progress in this fundamental domain of natural language research.

Second, in doing so we want to bring together domain experts across disciplines. by connecting researchers in historical linguistics with those that develop and test computational methods for detecting semantic change and laws of semantic change; and those that need knowledge (of the occurrence and shape) of language change, for example, in digital humanities and computational social sciences where text mining is applied to diachronic corpora subject to e.g., lexical semantic change.

Third, the detection and modelling of language change using diachronic text and text mining raise fundamental theoretical and methodological challenges for future research.

Besides these goals, this workshop will also support discussion on the evaluation of computational methodologies for uncovering language change. SemEval2020 Task1 on unsupervised detection of lexical semantic change attracted three figure submission numbers and a total of 21 submitted system papers. Since then, two more tasks have been completed, and we will organize the shared task on Spanish as a part of this workshop. Timeline for the shared task will be released shortly.

Via our sponsor, Iguanadon.ai, we can offer one free registration for a PhD student! Apply by emailing us your short cv and why you need your registration paid.

We invite original research papers from a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Novel methods for detecting diachronic semantic change and lexical replacement
  • Automatic discovery and quantitative evaluation of laws of language change
  • Computational theories and generative models of language change
  • Sense-aware (semantic) change analysis
  • Diachronic word sense disambiguation
  • Novel methods for diachronic analysis of low-resource languages
  • Novel methods for diachronic linguistic data visualization
  • Novel applications and implications of language change detection
  • Quantification of sociocultural influences on language change
  • Cross-linguistic, phylogenetic, and developmental approaches to language change
  • Novel datasets for cross-linguistic and diachronic analyses of language

Shared Task

The shared task on semantic change detection for Spanish will have two subtasks organized in two phases respectively:

  • discovery, and
  • binary change detection (detection of sense gain or loss vs. neither).

Note that discovery introduces additional difficulties for models as compared to the more simple semantic change detection, e.g. because a large number of predictions is required and the target words are not preselected, balanced or cleaned. Yet, discovery is an important task, with applications such as lexicography where dictionary makers aim to cover the full vocabulary of a language.

The full task description is available on CodaLab.

Task organizers: Frank D. Zamora-Reina, Felipe Bravo-Marquez, Dominik Schlechtweg.

Keynote Talks

To be announced


We accept three types of submissions, long and short papers, following the ACL2022 style, and the ACL submission policy, and shared task papers.

Details on paper length and submission proceedure will be posted once released by ACL2022.

The workshop is planned to last two full days. Submissions are open to all, and are to be submitted anonymously. Workshop papers will be refereed through a double-blind peer review process by at least three reviewers with final acceptance decisions made by the workshop organizers. Shared task participants can choose to submit their papers to the shared task where papers will be reviewed by other task participants, or to the main workshop where they will be reviewed according to the normal workshop proceedure.


Contact us if you have any questions.

Organisers: Nina Tahmasebi, Lars Borin, Simon Hengchen, Syrielle Montariol, Haim Dubossarsky and Andrey Kutuzov.

Anti-Harassment Policy

Our workshop highly values the open exchange of ideas, the freedom of thought and expression, and respectful scientific debate. We support and uphold the ACL Anti-Harassment policy, and any workshop participant should feel free to contact any of the workshop organisers or Priscilla Rasmussen, in case of any issues.


  • Simon Hengchen, Nina Tahmasebi, Dominik Schlechtweg, Haim Dubossarsky. Challenges for Computational Lexical Semantic Change. Nina Tahmasebi, Lars Borin, Adam Jatowt, Yang Xu, Simon Hengchen (eds). Computational Approaches to Semantic Change. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Nina Tahmasebi, Adam Jatowt, Lars Borin. Survey of Computational Approaches to Lexical Semantic Change Detection. Nina Tahmasebi, Lars Borin, Adam Jatowt, Yang Xu, Simon Hengchen (eds). Computational Approaches to Semantic Change. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Baayen, R. Harald. 2001. Word Frequency Distributions. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Koplenig, Alexander. 2015. The Impact of Lacking Metadata for the Measurement of Cultural and Linguistic Change Using the Google Ngram Data Sets—Reconstructing the Composition of the German Corpus in Times of WWII. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities fqv037. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqv037.
  • Koplenig, Alexander, Sascha Wolfer & Carolin Müller-Spitzer. 2019. Studying Lexical Dynamics and Language Change via Generalized Entropies: The Problem of Sample Size. Entropy 21(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/e21050464. http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/21/5/464.
  • Labov, William. 1994. Principles of linguistic change (Language in Society 20). Oxford, UK ; Cambridge [Mass.]: Blackwell.
  • Michel, Jean-Baptiste, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva Presser Aiden, Adrian Verses, Matthew K. Gray, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, et al. 2010. Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books (Supporting Online Material II). Science 331(14). http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6014/176/suppl/DC1 (5 March, 2014).
  • Pechenick, Eitan Adam, Christopher M. Danforth & Peter Sheridan Dodds. 2015. Characterizing the Google Books Corpus: Strong Limits to Inferences of Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Evolution. (Ed.) Alain Barrat. PLOS ONE 10(10). e0137041. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137041.
  • Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt. 2016. About text frequencies in historical linguistics: Disentangling environmental and grammatical change. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 12(1). 153–171. https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2015-0068.