Exploring the Representation of Word Meanings in Context: A Case Study on Homonymy and Synonymy

Marcos Garcia


Abstract
This paper presents a multilingual study of word meaning representations in context. We assess the ability of both static and contextualized models to adequately represent different lexical-semantic relations, such as homonymy and synonymy. To do so, we created a new multilingual dataset that allows us to perform a controlled evaluation of several factors such as the impact of the surrounding context or the overlap between words, conveying the same or different senses. A systematic assessment on four scenarios shows that the best monolingual models based on Transformers can adequately disambiguate homonyms in context. However, as they rely heavily on context, these models fail at representing words with different senses when occurring in similar sentences. Experiments are performed in Galician, Portuguese, English, and Spanish, and both the dataset (with more than 3,000 evaluation items) and new models are freely released with this study.
Anthology ID:
2021.acl-long.281
Volume:
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Month:
August
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venues:
ACL | IJCNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
3625–3640
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.281
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.acl-long.281
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Marcos Garcia. 2021. Exploring the Representation of Word Meanings in Context: A Case Study on Homonymy and Synonymy. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 3625–3640, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Exploring the Representation of Word Meanings in Context: A Case Study on Homonymy and Synonymy (Garcia, ACL-IJCNLP 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.281.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.281.mp4
Code
 marcospln/homonymy_acl21
Data
WiC