Colorless Green Recurrent Networks Dream Hierarchically

Kristina Gulordava, Piotr Bojanowski, Edouard Grave, Tal Linzen, Marco Baroni


Abstract
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) achieved impressive results in a variety of linguistic processing tasks, suggesting that they can induce non-trivial properties of language. We investigate to what extent RNNs learn to track abstract hierarchical syntactic structure. We test whether RNNs trained with a generic language modeling objective in four languages (Italian, English, Hebrew, Russian) can predict long-distance number agreement in various constructions. We include in our evaluation nonsensical sentences where RNNs cannot rely on semantic or lexical cues (“The colorless green ideas I ate with the chair sleep furiously”), and, for Italian, we compare model performance to human intuitions. Our language-model-trained RNNs make reliable predictions about long-distance agreement, and do not lag much behind human performance. We thus bring support to the hypothesis that RNNs are not just shallow-pattern extractors, but they also acquire deeper grammatical competence.
Anthology ID:
N18-1108
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:
1195–1205
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/N18-1108
DOI:
10.18653/v1/N18-1108
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Kristina Gulordava, Piotr Bojanowski, Edouard Grave, Tal Linzen, and Marco Baroni. 2018. Colorless Green Recurrent Networks Dream Hierarchically. In Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers), pages 1195–1205, New Orleans, Louisiana. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Colorless Green Recurrent Networks Dream Hierarchically (Gulordava et al., NAACL 2018)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/N18-1108.pdf
Video:
 http://vimeo.com/276898233
Code
 facebookresearch/colorlessgreenRNNs +  additional community code