Change is Key! is a research program in which we aim to create computational tools to turn text into a story of both our language, our societies and culture and how these have changed over time.

Firstly, we will develop corpus-based methods for detecting semantic change (over time) and variation (across social groups and media types). This will create general tools for the study and detection of language change at large-scale and directly benefit historical linguistics and lexicography. Secondly, in collaboration with researchers from each field, we aim to answer research questions in social sciences, gender studies, and literary studies.

The program spans six years (2022 - 2027) with a total of 11 researchers, one research engineer and six partner universities.

In 2023, we will co-organize the fourth edition of International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change, (LChange'23) that will be co-located with EMNLP'23. We co-organized the third workshop edition (LChange'22) held at ACL2022.

This research program is funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond under reference number M21-0021 for a total of 33.5 Million SEK.


We are looking for a Postdoc for Change is Key!
May 2022 – May 2022 Gothenburg, Sweden
We announced a 2-year postdoc position at the University of Gothenburg within the Change is Key! program. The theme is lexical semantic change detection for multiple (up to hundreds of) time periods. You can either have an NLP background with interest in graph models and probabilistic methods, or, be a mathematician with interest in state-of-the-art NLP. The position is to start in August 2022 or upon agreement.
LChange'22 in conjunction with ACL2022
May 2022 – May 2022 Dublin, Ireland

LChange'22 is the third workshop for computational approaches to historical language change with the focus on digital text corpora. This year, the workshop will feature a shared task on semantic change detection for Spanish.

Come join us for this exciting adventure!

Blog entry for Change is Key!
November 2020 – November 2020 Gothenburg, Sweden
There is a blog entry describing some of our program goals.
Change is Key! got funded!!
October 2020 – November 2020
We got funding for our program from RJ! A total of 33.5 Million SEK (3.2 Million euro) over 6 years. We will start in 2022.

Recent Events and Talks

Kick-Off Conference Day
Conference talks by all program members
Kick-Off Conference Day
3rd International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change 2022 (LChange'22)
Third LChange workshop co-located with ACL2022

Recent Publications

(2022). DiaWUG: A Dataset for Diatopic Lexical Semantic Variation in Spanish. DiaWUG.

PDF Cite

(2021). LSCDiscovery: A shared task on semantic change discovery and detection in Spanish. LSCDiscovery.


(2021). Survey of computational approaches to lexical semantic change detection . Survey of semantic change.