Compositional morphology through deep learning
AffiliationComputing and Information Systems
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2018 Dr. Ekaterina Vylomova
Most human languages have sophisticated morphological systems. In order to build successful models of language processing, we need to focus on morphology, the internal structure of words. In this thesis, we study two morphological processes: inflection (word change rules, e.g. run -- runs) and derivation (word formation rules, e.g. run -- runner). We first evaluate the ability of contemporary models that are trained using the distributional hypothesis, which states that a word's meaning can be expressed by the context in which it appears, to capture these types of morphology. Our study reveals that inflections are predicted at high accuracy whereas derivations are more challenging due to irregularity of meaning change. We then demonstrate that supplying the model with character-level information improves predictions and makes usage of language resources more efficient, especially in morphologically rich languages. We then address the question of to what extent and which information about word properties (such as gender, case, number) can be predicted entirely from a word's sentential content. To this end, we introduce a novel task of contextual inflection prediction. Our experiments on prediction of morphological features and a corresponding word form from sentential context show that the task is challenging, and as morphological complexity increases, performance significantly drops. We found that some morphological categories (e.g., verbal tense) are inherent and typically cannot be predicted from context while others (e.g., adjective number and gender) are contextual and inferred from agreement. Compared to morphological inflection tasks, where morphological features are explicitly provided, and the system has to predict only the form, accuracy on this task is much lower. Finally, we turn to word formation, derivation. Experiments with derivations show that they are less regular and systematic. We study how much a sentential context is indicative of a meaning change type. Our results suggest that even though inflections are more productive and regular than derivations, the latter also present cases of high regularity of meaning and form change, but often require extra information such as etymology, word frequency, and more fine-grained annotation in order to be predicted at high accuracy.
Keywordsmorphology model; machine translation; language model; natural language processing; deep learning
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References