Do Language Models Understand Anything? On the Ability of LSTMs to Understand Negative Polarity Items

In this paper, we attempt to link the inner workings of a neural language model to linguistic theory, focusing on a complex phenomenon well discussed in formal linguis- tics: (negative) polarity items. We briefly discuss the leading hypotheses about the licensing contexts that allow negative polarity items and evaluate to what extent a neural language model has the ability to correctly process a subset of such constructions... (read more)

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