Master Tesia

Data Sparsity in Highly Inflected Languages: The Case of Morphosyntactic Tagging in Polish
Michael Ustaszewski
In morphologically complex languages, many high-level tasks in natural language processing rely on accurate morphosyntactic analyses of the input. However, in light of the risk of error propagation in present-day pipeline architectures for basic linguistic pre-processing, the state of the art for morphosyntactic tagging is still not satisfactory. The main obstacle here is data sparsity inherent to natural language in general and highly inflected languages in particular. In this work, we investigate whether semi-supervised systems may alleviate the data sparsity problem. Our approach uses word clusters obtained from large amounts of unlabelled text in an unsupervised manner in order to provide a supervised probabilistic tagger with morphologically informed features. Our evaluations on a number of datasets for the Polish language suggest that this simple technique improves tagging accuracy, especially with regard to out-of-vocabulary words. This may prove useful to increase cross-domain performance of taggers, and to alleviate the dependency on large amounts of supervised training data, which is especially important from the perspective of less-resourced languages.
Rodrigo Agerri and German Rigau
- tagging - morphosyntax - tagging in Polish - natural language processing