Learning Contextualised Cross-lingual Word Embeddings for Extremely Low-Resource Languages Using Parallel Corpora

27 Oct 2020  ·  Takashi Wada, Tomoharu Iwata, Yuji Matsumoto, Timothy Baldwin, Jey Han Lau ·

We propose a new approach for learning contextualised cross-lingual word embeddings based only on a small parallel corpus (e.g. a few hundred sentence pairs). Our method obtains word embeddings via an LSTM-based encoder-decoder model that performs bidirectional translation and reconstruction of the input sentence... Through sharing model parameters among different languages, our model jointly trains the word embeddings in a common multilingual space. We also propose a simple method to combine word and subword embeddings to make use of orthographic similarities across different languages. We base our experiments on real-world data from endangered languages, namely Yongning Na, Shipibo-Konibo and Griko. Our experiments on bilingual lexicon induction and word alignment tasks show that our model outperforms existing methods by a large margin for most language pairs. These results demonstrate that, contrary to common belief, an encoder-decoder translation model is beneficial for learning cross-lingual representations, even in extremely low-resource scenarios. read more

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