Getting the \#\#life out of living: How Adequate Are Word-Pieces for Modelling Complex Morphology?

WS 2020  ·  Stav Klein, Reut Tsarfaty ·

This work investigates the most basic units that underlie contextualized word embeddings, such as BERT {---} the so-called word pieces. In Morphologically-Rich Languages (MRLs) which exhibit morphological fusion and non-concatenative morphology, the different units of meaning within a word may be fused, intertwined, and cannot be separated linearly. Therefore, when using word-pieces in MRLs, we must consider that: (1) a linear segmentation into sub-word units might not capture the full morphological complexity of words; and (2) representations that leave morphological knowledge on sub-word units inaccessible might negatively affect performance. Here we empirically examine the capacity of word-pieces to capture morphology by investigating the task of multi-tagging in Modern Hebrew, as a proxy to evaluate the underlying segmentation. Our results show that, while models trained to predict multi-tags for complete words outperform models tuned to predict the distinct tags of WPs, we can improve the WPs tag prediction by purposefully constraining the word-pieces to reflect their internal functions. We suggest that linguistically-informed word-pieces schemes, that make the morphological structure explicit, might boost performance for MRLs.

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.