While idiosyncrasies of the Chinese classifier system have been a richly studied topic among linguists (Adams and Conklin, 1973; Erbaugh, 1986; Lakoff, 1986), not much work has been done to quantify them with statistical methods. In this paper, we introduce an information-theoretic approach to measuring idiosyncrasy; we examine how much the uncertainty in Mandarin Chinese classifiers can be reduced by knowing semantic information about the nouns that the classifiers modify. Using the empirical distribution of classifiers from the parsed Chinese Gigaword corpus (Graff et al., 2005), we compute the mutual information (in bits) between the distribution over classifiers and distributions over other linguistic quantities. We investigate whether semantic classes of nouns and adjectives differ in how much they reduce uncertainty in classifier choice, and find that it is not fully idiosyncratic; while there are no obvious trends for the majority of semantic classes, shape nouns reduce uncertainty in classifier choice the most.
Cross-lingual information extraction (CLIE) is an important and challenging task, especially in low resource scenarios. To tackle this challenge, we propose a training method, called Halo, which enforces the local region of each hidden state of a neural model to only generate target tokens with the same semantic structure tag. This simple but powerful technique enables a neural model to learn semantics-aware representations that are robust to noise, without introducing any extra parameter, thus yielding better generalization in both high and low resource settings.