Cross-Lingual Word Embeddings for Turkic Languages

There has been an increasing interest in learning cross-lingual word embeddings to transfer knowledge obtained from a resource-rich language, such as English, to lower-resource languages for which annotated data is scarce, such as Turkish, Russian, and many others. In this paper, we present the first viability study of established techniques to align monolingual embedding spaces for Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Kazakh and Kyrgyz, members of the Turkic family which is heavily affected by the low-resource constraint. Those techniques are known to require little explicit supervision, mainly in the form of bilingual dictionaries, hence being easily adaptable to different domains, including low-resource ones. We obtain new bilingual dictionaries and new word embeddings for these languages and show the steps for obtaining cross-lingual word embeddings using state-of-the-art techniques. Then, we evaluate the results using the bilingual dictionary induction task. Our experiments confirm that the obtained bilingual dictionaries outperform previously-available ones, and that word embeddings from a low-resource language can benefit from resource-rich closely-related languages when they are aligned together. Furthermore, evaluation on an extrinsic task (Sentiment analysis on Uzbek) proves that monolingual word embeddings can, although slightly, benefit from cross-lingual alignments.

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