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Towards Computational Lexical Semantic Change Detection

In this project, we aim to find automatic, corpus-based methods for detecting semantic change and lexical replacement for Swedish and English. We will investigate the fundamental questions of how, when, and why languages change to allow us to quantify language change and shift lexical typological research from small case studies done on limited data sets to larger scales and over wider time spans using various media types and sources.

We have organized the project into four work packages. Because we need evaluation for all areas, it is integrated in all our work, and we will define datasets, test sets, and evaluation methods in all Wps. Our work with quantitatively reproducing existing studies for lexical and semantic change and our collaborations with researchers from outside fields will be a part of all work packages. Our work packages are

The 1st International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change was held during ACL2019 with 65 participants! We are also involved in organzing a SemEval2020 task for Unsupervised Lexical Semantic Change Detection.

This research project is funded by the Swedish Research Council under project number 2018-01184, and there are four of us: Nina Tahmasebi, Richard Johansson, Susanne Vejdemo , and Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm.

The full project page can be found under

Publications BibTeX

2019 BibTeX

2017 BibTeX

Project duration

Project members

  • Nina Tahmasebi (Principal Investigator)
  • Simon Hengchen (Researcher)
  • Richard Johansson (Researcher)
  • Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm (Researcher)


  • Swedish Research Council (2018-01184)

Project type

  • Research project
  • Externally funded