Visual grounding of Language aims at enriching textual representations of language with multiple sources of visual knowledge such as images and videos. Although visual grounding is an area of intense research, inter-lingual aspects of visual grounding have not received much attention. The present study investigates the inter-lingual visual grounding of word embeddings. We propose an implicit alignment technique between the two spaces of vision and language in which inter-lingual textual information interacts in order to enrich pre-trained textual word embeddings. We focus on three languages in our experiments, namely, English, Arabic, and German. We obtained visually grounded vector representations for these languages and studied whether visual grounding on one or multiple languages improved the performance of embeddings on word similarity and categorization benchmarks. Our experiments suggest that inter-lingual knowledge improves the performance of grounded embeddings in similar languages such as German and English. However, inter-lingual grounding of German or English with Arabic led to a slight degradation in performance on word similarity benchmarks. On the other hand, we observed an opposite trend on categorization benchmarks where Arabic had the most improvement on English. In the discussion section, several reasons for those findings are laid out. We hope that our experiments provide a baseline for further research on inter lingual visual grounding.
Language grounding aims at linking the symbolic representation of language (e.g., words) into the rich perceptual knowledge of the outside world. The general approach is to embed both textual and visual information into a common space -the grounded space- confined by an explicit relationship. We argue that since concrete and abstract words are processed differently in the brain, such approaches sacrifice the abstract knowledge obtained from textual statistics in the process of acquiring perceptual information. The focus of this paper is to solve this issue by implicitly grounding the word embeddings. Rather than learning two mappings into a joint space, our approach integrates modalities by implicit alignment. This is achieved by learning a reversible mapping between the textual and the grounded space by means of multi-task training. Intrinsic and extrinsic evaluations show that our way of visual grounding is highly beneficial for both abstract and concrete words. Our embeddings are correlated with human judgments and outperform previous works using pretrained word embeddings on a wide range of benchmarks. Our grounded embeddings are publicly available here.
This study investigates the processing of idiomatic variants through an eye-tracking experiment. Four types of idiom variants were included, in addition to the canonical form and the literal meaning. Results suggest that modifications to idioms, modulo obvious effects of length differences, are not more difficult to process than the canonical forms themselves. This fits with recent corpus findings.