Anastassia Shaitarova


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Subword Evenness (SuE) as a Predictor of Cross-lingual Transfer to Low-resource Languages
Olga Pelloni | Anastassia Shaitarova | Tanja Samardzic
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Pre-trained multilingual models, such as mBERT, XLM-R and mT5, are used to improve the performance on various tasks in low-resource languages via cross-lingual transfer. In this framework, English is usually seen as the most natural choice for a transfer language (for fine-tuning or continued training of a multilingual pre-trained model), but it has been revealed recently that this is often not the best choice. The success of cross-lingual transfer seems to depend on some properties of languages, which are currently hard to explain. Successful transfer often happens between unrelated languages and it often cannot be explained by data-dependent factors.In this study, we show that languages written in non-Latin and non-alphabetic scripts (mostly Asian languages) are the best choices for improving performance on the task of Masked Language Modelling (MLM) in a diverse set of 30 low-resource languages and that the success of the transfer is well predicted by our novel measure of Subword Evenness (SuE). Transferring language models over the languages that score low on our measure results in the lowest average perplexity over target low-resource languages. Our correlation coefficients obtained with three different pre-trained multilingual models are consistently higher than all the other predictors, including text-based measures (type-token ratio, entropy) and linguistically motivated choice (genealogical and typological proximity).


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Negation typology and general representation models for cross-lingual zero-shot negation scope resolution in Russian, French, and Spanish.
Anastassia Shaitarova | Fabio Rinaldi
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Negation is a linguistic universal that poses difficulties for cognitive and computational processing. Despite many advances in text analytics, negation resolution remains an acute and continuously researched question in Natural Language Processing. Reliable negation parsing affects results in biomedical text mining, sentiment analysis, machine translation, and many other fields. The availability of multilingual pre-trained general representation models makes it possible to experiment with negation detection in languages that lack annotated data. In this work we test the performance of two state-of-the-art contextual representation models, Multilingual BERT and XLM-RoBERTa. We resolve negation scope by conducting zero-shot transfer between English, Spanish, French, and Russian. Our best result amounts to a token-level F1-score of 86.86% between Spanish and Russian. We correlate these results with a linguistic negation typology and lexical capacity of the models.


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Geotagging a Diachronic Corpus of Alpine Texts: Comparing Distinct Approaches to Toponym Recognition
Tannon Kew | Anastassia Shaitarova | Isabel Meraner | Janis Goldzycher | Simon Clematide | Martin Volk
Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology for Digital Historical Archives

Geotagging historic and cultural texts provides valuable access to heritage data, enabling location-based searching and new geographically related discoveries. In this paper, we describe two distinct approaches to geotagging a variety of fine-grained toponyms in a diachronic corpus of alpine texts. By applying a traditional gazetteer-based approach, aided by a few simple heuristics, we attain strong high-precision annotations. Using the output of this earlier system, we adopt a state-of-the-art neural approach in order to facilitate the detection of new toponyms on the basis of context. Additionally, we present the results of preliminary experiments on integrating a small amount of crowdsourced annotations to improve overall performance of toponym recognition in our heritage corpus.