Lost in Embedding Space: Explaining Cross-Lingual Task Performance with Eigenvalue Divergence

Performance in cross-lingual NLP tasks is impacted by the (dis)similarity of languages at hand: e.g., previous work has suggested there is a connection between the expected success of bilingual lexicon induction (BLI) and the assumption of (approximate) isomorphism between monolingual embedding spaces. In this work, we present a large-scale study focused on the correlations between language similarity and task performance, covering thousands of language pairs and four different tasks: BLI, machine translation, parsing, and POS tagging... (read more)

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