It is our great pleasure to introduce the proceedings of the Eighth International Conference “Human Language Technologies – The Baltic Perspective” (Baltic HLT 2018).
Since its first edition in 2004, the main aim of Baltic HLT has been to provide a forum for sharing new ideas and recent advances in computational linguistics and related disciplines and to promote cooperation between the research communities of Baltic states and beyond.
The call for papers for the Eighth Baltic HLT encouraged the authors to submit papers in the area of natural language processing and language technologies in general, laying special interest on research on languages spoken in the Baltic countries. We received 43 submissions; each submission was evaluated by three reviewers. Hereby we wish to express our gratitude to the members of the Programme Committee who worked hard to review all submissions. Based on their scores and the comments they provided on the content and quality of the papers, 24 papers were accepted for presentation and publication.
Among the accepted submissions speech technology was the most popular topic with 8 accepted papers, but in general papers in this volume cover a wide range of topics: machine translation, automatic morphology, text classification, various language resources and NLP pipelines.
Completing the programme are the invited lectures by Peter Bell, Alexander Fraser and Martin Volk.
We hope that this year's conference “Human Language Technologies – The Baltic Perspective” is an intellectually stimulating event for all of you and that it will generate many new ideas that will help extend your own research.
This year is special for the research community of computational linguistics in the Baltics as the sixtieth anniversary is celebrated by the pioneer of corpus and computational Linguistics in Lithuania, one of the initiators of the Baltic HLT Conference, Professor Rūta Petrauskaitė. She is the founder of the Centre of Computational Linguistics at Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas), where for twenty-five years works of corpus and computational linguistics have been developed. Thanks to Rūta Petrauskaitė, corpora became an integral part of Lithuanian language research. Rūta Petrauskaitė's research and work are well-known not only in Lithuania, but also internationally and many scientists have been inspired by her ideas. Some research papers by her former students can also be found in this publication.
The organizers would like to express their gratitude to the supporters of this conference: the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (European Regional Development Fund), Mooncascade OÜ, Lingvist Technologies OÜ, Tilde Company and City of Tartu.