The most straightforward approach to joint word segmentation (WS), part-of-speech (POS) tagging, and constituent parsing is converting a word-level tree into a char-level tree, which, however, leads to two severe challenges. First, a larger label set (e.g., ≥ 600) and longer inputs both increase computational costs. Second, it is difficult to rule out illegal trees containing conflicting production rules, which is important for reliable model evaluation. If a POS tag (like VV) is above a phrase tag (like VP) in the output tree, it becomes quite complex to decide word boundaries. To deal with both challenges, this work proposes a two-stage coarse-to-fine labeling framework for joint WS-POS-PAR. In the coarse labeling stage, the joint model outputs a bracketed tree, in which each node corresponds to one of four labels (i.e., phrase, subphrase, word, subword). The tree is guaranteed to be legal via constrained CKY decoding. In the fine labeling stage, the model expands each coarse label into a final label (such as VP, VP*, VV, VV*). Experiments on Chinese Penn Treebank 5.1 and 7.0 show that our joint model consistently outperforms the pipeline approach on both settings of w/o and w/ BERT, and achieves new state-of-the-art performance.
Unlike English letters, Chinese characters have rich and specific meanings. Usually, the meaning of a word can be derived from its constituent characters in some way. Several previous works on syntactic parsing propose to annotate shallow word-internal structures for better utilizing character-level information. This work proposes to model the deep internal structures of Chinese words as dependency trees with 11 labels for distinguishing syntactic relationships. First, based on newly compiled annotation guidelines, we manually annotate a word-internal structure treebank (WIST) consisting of over 30K multi-char words from Chinese Penn Treebank. To guarantee quality, each word is independently annotated by two annotators and inconsistencies are handled by a third senior annotator. Second, we present detailed and interesting analysis on WIST to reveal insights on Chinese word formation. Third, we propose word-internal structure parsing as a new task, and conduct benchmark experiments using a competitive dependency parser. Finally, we present two simple ways to encode word-internal structures, leading to promising gains on the sentence-level syntactic parsing task.