The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is the international scientific and professional society for people working on problems involving natural language and computation. An annual meeting is held each summer in locations where significant computational linguistics research is carried out. It was founded in 1962, originally named the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL). It became the ACL in 1968.[8]

The ACL has a European (EACL)[9] and a North American (NAACL) chapter.[10]

The ACL journal, Computational Linguistics, is the primary forum for research on computational linguistics and natural language processing. Since 1988, the journal has been published for the ACL by MIT Press.[11][12]

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:[13]

  • Linguistic Annotation:
  • Biomedical Language Processing:
  • Linguistic data and corpus-based approaches:
  • Dialogue Processing:
  • Natural Language Generation:
  • Chinese Language Processing:
  • Language Technologies for the Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities: SIGHUM
  • Lexicon: SIGLEX (SIGLEX is the umbrella organization for the SemEval semantic evaluations and SENSEVAL word-sense evaluation exercises.)
  • Mathematics of Language:
  • Machine Translation:
  • Natural Language Learning:
  • Natural Language Parsing:
  • Computational Morphology and Phonology:
  • Computational Semantics:
  • Speech & Language Processing for Assistive Technologies:
  • Computational Approaches to Semitic Languages:
  • 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:[14]

2017Joakim Nivre
2016Pushpak Bhattacharyya
2015Chris Manning
2014Gertjan van Noord
2013Haifeng Wang
2012Ken Church
2011Kevin Knight
2010Ido Dagan
2009Steven Bird
2008Bonnie Dorr
2007Mark Steedman
2006Jun'ichi Tsujii
2005Martha Palmer
2004Johanna Moore
2003Mark Johnson
2002John Nerbonne
2001Eduard Hovy
2000Wolfgang Wahlster