One challenge in speech translation is that plenty of spoken content is long-form, but short units are necessary for obtaining high-quality translations. To address this mismatch, we adapt large language models (LLMs) to split long ASR transcripts into segments that can be independently translated so as to maximize the overall translation quality. We overcome the tendency of hallucination in LLMs by incorporating finite-state constraints during decoding; these eliminate invalid outputs without requiring additional training. We discover that LLMs are adaptable to transcripts containing ASR errors through prompt-tuning or fine-tuning. Relative to a state-of-the-art automatic punctuation baseline, our best LLM improves the average BLEU by 2.9 points for English-German, English-Spanish, and English-Arabic TED talk translation in 9 test sets, just by improving segmentation.
* accepted to the Findings of EMNLP 2023. arXiv admin note: text
overlap with arXiv:2212.09895
Large multilingual models have inspired a new class of word alignment methods, which work well for the model's pretraining languages. However, the languages most in need of automatic alignment are low-resource and, thus, not typically included in the pretraining data. In this work, we ask: How do modern aligners perform on unseen languages, and are they better than traditional methods? We contribute gold-standard alignments for Bribri--Spanish, Guarani--Spanish, Quechua--Spanish, and Shipibo-Konibo--Spanish. With these, we evaluate state-of-the-art aligners with and without model adaptation to the target language. Finally, we also evaluate the resulting alignments extrinsically through two downstream tasks: named entity recognition and part-of-speech tagging. We find that although transformer-based methods generally outperform traditional models, the two classes of approach remain competitive with each other.
A challenge in spoken language translation is that plenty of spoken content is long-form, but short units are necessary for obtaining high-quality translations. To address this mismatch, we fine-tune a general-purpose, large language model to split long ASR transcripts into segments that can be independently translated so as to maximize the overall translation quality. We compare to several segmentation strategies and find that our approach improves BLEU score on three languages by an average of 2.7 BLEU overall compared to an automatic punctuation baseline. Further, we demonstrate the effectiveness of two constrained decoding strategies to improve well-formedness of the model output from above 99% to 100%.
The field of natural language processing (NLP) has grown over the last few years: conferences have become larger, we have published an incredible amount of papers, and state-of-the-art research has been implemented in a large variety of customer-facing products. However, this paper argues that we have been less successful than we should have been and reflects on where and how the field fails to tap its full potential. Specifically, we demonstrate that, in recent years, subpar time allocation has been a major obstacle for NLP research. We outline multiple concrete problems together with their negative consequences and, importantly, suggest remedies to improve the status quo. We hope that this paper will be a starting point for discussions around which common practices are -- or are not -- beneficial for NLP research.
The Universal Morphology (UniMorph) project is a collaborative effort providing broad-coverage instantiated normalized morphological inflection tables for hundreds of diverse world languages. The project comprises two major thrusts: a language-independent feature schema for rich morphological annotation and a type-level resource of annotated data in diverse languages realizing that schema. This paper presents the expansions and improvements made on several fronts over the last couple of years (since McCarthy et al. (2020)). Collaborative efforts by numerous linguists have added 67 new languages, including 30 endangered languages. We have implemented several improvements to the extraction pipeline to tackle some issues, e.g. missing gender and macron information. We have also amended the schema to use a hierarchical structure that is needed for morphological phenomena like multiple-argument agreement and case stacking, while adding some missing morphological features to make the schema more inclusive. In light of the last UniMorph release, we also augmented the database with morpheme segmentation for 16 languages. Lastly, this new release makes a push towards inclusion of derivational morphology in UniMorph by enriching the data and annotation schema with instances representing derivational processes from MorphyNet.
* LREC 2022; The first two authors made equal contributions
What can pre-trained multilingual sequence-to-sequence models like mBART contribute to translating low-resource languages? We conduct a thorough empirical experiment in 10 languages to ascertain this, considering five factors: (1) the amount of fine-tuning data, (2) the noise in the fine-tuning data, (3) the amount of pre-training data in the model, (4) the impact of domain mismatch, and (5) language typology. In addition to yielding several heuristics, the experiments form a framework for evaluating the data sensitivities of machine translation systems. While mBART is robust to domain differences, its translations for unseen and typologically distant languages remain below 3.0 BLEU. In answer to our title's question, mBART is not a low-resource panacea; we therefore encourage shifting the emphasis from new models to new data.
Automatic morphological processing can aid downstream natural language processing applications, especially for low-resource languages, and assist language documentation efforts for endangered languages. Having long been multilingual, the field of computational morphology is increasingly moving towards approaches suitable for languages with minimal or no annotated resources. First, we survey recent developments in computational morphology with a focus on low-resource languages. Second, we argue that the field is ready to tackle the logical next challenge: understanding a language's morphology from raw text alone. We perform an empirical study on a truly unsupervised version of the paradigm completion task and show that, while existing state-of-the-art models bridged by two newly proposed models we devise perform reasonably, there is still much room for improvement. The stakes are high: solving this task will increase the language coverage of morphological resources by a number of magnitudes.
The noun lexica of many natural languages are divided into several declension classes with characteristic morphological properties. Class membership is far from deterministic, but the phonological form of a noun and/or its meaning can often provide imperfect clues. Here, we investigate the strength of those clues. More specifically, we operationalize this by measuring how much information, in bits, we can glean about declension class from knowing the form and/or meaning of nouns. We know that form and meaning are often also indicative of grammatical gender---which, as we quantitatively verify, can itself share information with declension class---so we also control for gender. We find for two Indo-European languages (Czech and German) that form and meaning respectively share significant amounts of information with class (and contribute additional information above and beyond gender). The three-way interaction between class, form, and meaning (given gender) is also significant. Our study is important for two reasons: First, we introduce a new method that provides additional quantitative support for a classic linguistic finding that form and meaning are relevant for the classification of nouns into declensions. Secondly, we show not only that individual declensions classes vary in the strength of their clues within a language, but also that these variations themselves vary across languages.
* 14 pages, 2 figures, the is the camera-ready version accepted at the
2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL
We propose the task of unsupervised morphological paradigm completion. Given only raw text and a lemma list, the task consists of generating the morphological paradigms, i.e., all inflected forms, of the lemmas. From a natural language processing (NLP) perspective, this is a challenging unsupervised task, and high-performing systems have the potential to improve tools for low-resource languages or to assist linguistic annotators. From a cognitive science perspective, this can shed light on how children acquire morphological knowledge. We further introduce a system for the task, which generates morphological paradigms via the following steps: (i) EDIT TREE retrieval, (ii) additional lemma retrieval, (iii) paradigm size discovery, and (iv) inflection generation. We perform an evaluation on 14 typologically diverse languages. Our system outperforms trivial baselines with ease and, for some languages, even obtains a higher accuracy than minimally supervised systems.