Fortification of Neural Morphological Segmentation Models for Polysynthetic Minimal-Resource Languages

Katharina Kann, Jesus Manuel Mager Hois, Ivan Vladimir Meza-Ruiz, Hinrich Schütze


Abstract
Morphological segmentation for polysynthetic languages is challenging, because a word may consist of many individual morphemes and training data can be extremely scarce. Since neural sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) models define the state of the art for morphological segmentation in high-resource settings and for (mostly) European languages, we first show that they also obtain competitive performance for Mexican polysynthetic languages in minimal-resource settings. We then propose two novel multi-task training approaches—one with, one without need for external unlabeled resources—, and two corresponding data augmentation methods, improving over the neural baseline for all languages. Finally, we explore cross-lingual transfer as a third way to fortify our neural model and show that we can train one single multi-lingual model for related languages while maintaining comparable or even improved performance, thus reducing the amount of parameters by close to 75%. We provide our morphological segmentation datasets for Mexicanero, Nahuatl, Wixarika and Yorem Nokki for future research.
Anthology ID:
N18-1005
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)
Month:
June
Year:
2018
Address:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Venue:
NAACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
47–57
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/N18-1005
DOI:
10.18653/v1/N18-1005
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Video:
 http://vimeo.com/276387788