Association for Computational Linguistics


The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is a scientific and professional organization for people working on natural language processing.[1] Its namesake conference is one of the primary high impact conferences for natural language processing research, along with EMNLP.[2][3] The conference is held each summer in locations where significant computational linguistics research is carried out.

Association for Computational Linguistics
TypeProfessional organization
FocusComputational linguistics and natural language processing
OriginsAssociation for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics
Area served
MethodConferences, publications

It was founded in 1962, originally named the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL). It became the ACL in 1968.[4] The ACL has a European (EACL),[5] a North American (NAACL),[6] and an Asian (AACL)[7] chapter.



The ACL was founded in 1962 as the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL). The initial membership was about 100. In 1965, the AMTCL took over the journal Mechanical Translation and Computational Linguistics. This journal was succeeded by many other journals: the American Journal of Computational Linguistics (1974–1978, 1980–1983), and then Computational Linguistics (1984–present).[8] Since 1988, the journal has been published for the ACL by MIT Press.[9][10]

The annual meeting was first held in 1963 in conjunction with the Association for Computing Machinery National Conference.[11] The annual meeting was, for a long time, relatively informal and did not publish anything longer than abstracts. By 1968, the society took on its current name, the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). The publication of the annual meeting's Proceedings of the ACL began in 1979 and gradually matured into its modern form.[8] Many of the meetings were held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America, and a few with the American Society for Information Science and the Cognitive Science Society.[11]

The United States government sponsored much research from 1989 to 1994, characterized by an increase in author retention rates and an increase in research in some key topics, such as speech recognition, in ACL. By the 21st century, it was able to maintain authors at a high rate who coalesced in a more stable arrangement around individual research topics.[12]

Annual Meeting of the ACL


Every year, the ACL holds the Annual Meeting of the ACL.[13] The location lies in Europe in years zero modulo three, North America in years one modulo three, and Asia–Australia in years two modulo three. In 2020, the Annual Meeting received for the first time more submissions from China than the United States.[14]

Year Location
2024 August 11–16 Bangkok, Thailand
2023 July 9–14 Toronto, Canada
2022 May 22–27 Dublin, Ireland
2021 August 1–6 Bangkok, Thailand Online due to COVID-19
2020 July 5–10 Seattle, Washington Online due to COVID-19
2019 July 28–August 2 Florence, Italy
2018 July 15–20 Melbourne, Australia
2017 July 30–August 4 Vancouver, Canada
2014 June 22–27 Baltimore, Maryland
2011 June 19–24 Portland, Oregon
2008 June 15–20 Columbus, Ohio
2005 June 25–30 Ann Arbor, Michigan
2002 July 7–12 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



The ACL organizes several of the top conferences and workshops in the field of computational linguistics and natural language processing. These include:

Besides conferences, the ACL also sponsors the journals Computational Linguistics and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL). Papers and other presentations at ACL and ACL-affiliated venues are archived online in the open-access ACL Anthology.[15]

Special Interest Groups


ACL has a large number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), focusing on specific areas of natural language processing. Some current SIGs within ACL are:[16]

SIG Description
SIGANN Linguistic Annotation
SIGBIOMED Biomedical Language Processing
SIGDAT Linguistic data and corpus-based approaches
SIGDIAL Dialogue Processing
SIGFSM Finite State Methods
SIGGEN Archived 12 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Natural Language Generation
SIGHAN Chinese Language Processing
SIGHUM Language Technologies for the Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities
SIGLEX Lexicon: the umbrella organization for the SemEval semantic evaluations and SENSEVAL word-sense evaluations
SIGMT Machine Translation
SIGMOL Mathematics of Language
SIGMORPHON Computational Morphology and Phonology
SIGNLL Natural Language Learning
SIGPARSE Natural Language Parsing
SIGSEM Computational Semantics
SIGSEMITIC Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages
SIGSLAV NLP for Slavic Languages
SIGSLPAT Speech & Language Processing for Assistive Technologies
SIGTYP Typology
SIGWAC Web as Corpus



Each year, the ACL elects a distinguished computational linguist who becomes vice-president of the organization in the next calendar year and president one year later. Recent ACL presidents are:[17]

Year Name
2022 Tim Baldwin
2021 Rada Mihalcea
2020 Hinrich Schütze
2019 Zhou Ming
2018 Marti Hearst
2017 Joakim Nivre
2016 Pushpak Bhattacharyya
2015 Christopher D. Manning
2014 Gertjan van Noord
2013 Haifeng Wang
2012 Ken Church
2011 Kevin Knight
2010 Ido Dagan
2009 Steven Bird
2008 Bonnie Dorr
2007 Mark Steedman
2006 Jun'ichi Tsujii
2005 Martha Palmer
2004 Johanna Moore
2003 Mark Johnson
2002 John Nerbonne
2001 Eduard Hovy
2000 Wolfgang Wahlster

See also



  1. ^ "What is the ACL and what is Computational Linguistics? | ACL Member Portal". Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  2. ^ "The Top 10 NLP Conferences | jungle light speed". Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Natural Language Processing (NLP) Conferences 2022/2023/2024". Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  4. ^ "What is the ACL and what is Computational Linguistics? | ACL Member Portal". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  5. ^ "EACL Home". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  6. ^ Sarkar, Anoop. "NAACL: North American Chapter of the ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics)". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  7. ^ "AACL: Asia-Pacific Chapter of the ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics)". Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  8. ^ a b Jones, Karen Sparck (1994). "Some Notes on ACL History". ACL. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  9. ^ "List of Issues | Computational Linguistics | MIT Press Journals". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Computational Linguistics". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b Walker, Donald E. (1982). "Reflections on 20 Years of the ACL: An Introduction". 20th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Association for Computational Linguistics: 89–91. doi:10.3115/981251.981273. S2CID 6224861.
  12. ^ Anderson, Ashton; Jurafsky, Dan; McFarland, Daniel A. (2012). "Towards a Computational History of the ACL: 1980-2008". Proceedings of the ACL-2012 Special Workshop on Rediscovering 50 Years of Discoveries. Association for Computational Linguistics: 13–21.
  13. ^ "Annual Meetings of the Association for Computational Linguistics | ACL Member Portal". ACL HomeAssociation for Computational Linguistics. Archived from the original on 22 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  14. ^ Chai, Joyce; Schluter, Natalie; Tetreault, Joel (4 June 2020). "ACL2020: General Conference Statistics". ACL2020. Association for Computational Linguistics. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  15. ^ "ACL Anthology". Association for Computational Linguistics.
  16. ^ "Special Interest Groups | ACL Member Portal". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  17. ^ "ACL Officers – Admin Wiki". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  • Official website
    • ACL Anthology
    • ACL Wiki
  • EACL
  • AACL