Jakob Prange


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Proceedings of the 17th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVII)
Jakob Prange | Annemarie Friedrich
Proceedings of the 17th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVII)

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Empirical Sufficiency Lower Bounds for Language Modeling with Locally-Bootstrapped Semantic Structures
Jakob Prange | Emmanuele Chersoni
Proceedings of the 12th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2023)

In this work we build upon negative results from an attempt at language modeling with predicted semantic structure, in order to establish empirical lower bounds on what could have made the attempt successful. More specifically, we design a concise binary vector representation of semantic structure at the lexical level and evaluate in-depth how good an incremental tagger needs to be in order to achieve better-than-baseline performance with an end-to-end semantic-bootstrapping language model. We envision such a system as consisting of a (pretrained) sequential-neural component and a hierarchical-symbolic component working together to generate text with low surprisal and high linguistic interpretability. We find that (a) dimensionality of the semantic vector representation can be dramatically reduced without losing its main advantages and (b) lower bounds on prediction quality cannot be established via a single score alone, but need to take the distributions of signal and noise into account.

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Reanalyzing L2 Preposition Learning with Bayesian Mixed Effects and a Pretrained Language Model
Jakob Prange | Man Ho Ivy Wong
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We use both Bayesian and neural models to dissect a data set of Chinese learners’ pre- and post-interventional responses to two tests measuring their understanding of English prepositions. The results mostly replicate previous findings from frequentist analyses and newly reveal crucial interactions between student ability, task type, and stimulus sentence. Given the sparsity of the data as well as high diversity among learners, the Bayesian method proves most useful; but we also see potential in using language model probabilities as predictors of grammaticality and learnability.


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Linguistic Frameworks Go Toe-to-Toe at Neuro-Symbolic Language Modeling
Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider | Lingpeng Kong
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We examine the extent to which, in principle, different syntactic and semantic graph representations can complement and improve neural language modeling. Specifically, by conditioning on a subgraph encapsulating the locally relevant sentence history, can a model make better next-word predictions than a pretrained sequential language model alone? With an ensemble setup consisting of GPT-2 and ground-truth graphs from one of 7 different formalisms, we find that the graph information indeed improves perplexity and other metrics. Moreover, this architecture provides a new way to compare different frameworks of linguistic representation. In our oracle graph setup, training and evaluating on English WSJ, semantic constituency structures prove most useful to language modeling performance—outpacing syntactic constituency structures as well as syntactic and semantic dependency structures.


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Subcategorizing Adverbials in Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation
Zhuxin Wang | Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Joint 15th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW) and 3rd Designing Meaning Representations (DMR) Workshop

Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation (UCCA) is a semantic annotation scheme that organizes texts into coarse predicate-argument structure, offering broad coverage of semantic phenomena. At the same time, there is still need for a finer-grained treatment of many of the categories. The Adverbial category is of special interest, as it covers a wide range of fundamentally different meanings such as negation, causation, aspect, and event quantification. In this paper we introduce a refinement annotation scheme for UCCA’s Adverbial category, showing that UCCA Adverbials can indeed be subcategorized into at least 7 semantic types, and doing so can help clarify and disambiguate the otherwise coarse-grained labels. We provide a preliminary set of annotation guidelines, as well as pilot annotation experiments with high inter-annotator agreement, confirming the validity of the scheme.

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Supertagging the Long Tail with Tree-Structured Decoding of Complex Categories
Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider | Vivek Srikumar
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Although current CCG supertaggers achieve high accuracy on the standard WSJ test set, few systems make use of the categories’ internal structure that will drive the syntactic derivation during parsing. The tagset is traditionally truncated, discarding the many rare and complex category types in the long tail. However, supertags are themselves trees. Rather than give up on rare tags, we investigate constructive models that account for their internal structure, including novel methods for tree-structured prediction. Our best tagger is capable of recovering a sizeable fraction of the long-tail supertags and even generates CCG categories that have never been seen in training, while approximating the prior state of the art in overall tag accuracy with fewer parameters. We further investigate how well different approaches generalize to out-of-domain evaluation sets.

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CCG Supertagging as Top-down Tree Generation
Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider | Vivek Srikumar
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 2021


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Comparison by Conversion: Reverse-Engineering UCCA from Syntax and Lexical Semantics
Daniel Hershcovich | Nathan Schneider | Dotan Dvir | Jakob Prange | Miryam de Lhoneux | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Building robust natural language understanding systems will require a clear characterization of whether and how various linguistic meaning representations complement each other. To perform a systematic comparative analysis, we evaluate the mapping between meaning representations from different frameworks using two complementary methods: (i) a rule-based converter, and (ii) a supervised delexicalized parser that parses to one framework using only information from the other as features. We apply these methods to convert the STREUSLE corpus (with syntactic and lexical semantic annotations) to UCCA (a graph-structured full-sentence meaning representation). Both methods yield surprisingly accurate target representations, close to fully supervised UCCA parser quality—indicating that UCCA annotations are partially redundant with STREUSLE annotations. Despite this substantial convergence between frameworks, we find several important areas of divergence.

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Cross-lingual Semantic Representation for NLP with UCCA
Omri Abend | Dotan Dvir | Daniel Hershcovich | Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

This is an introductory tutorial to UCCA (Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation), a cross-linguistically applicable framework for semantic representation, with corpora annotated in English, German and French, and ongoing annotation in Russian and Hebrew. UCCA builds on extensive typological work and supports rapid annotation. The tutorial will provide a detailed introduction to the UCCA annotation guidelines, design philosophy and the available resources; and a comparison to other meaning representations. It will also survey the existing parsing work, including the findings of three recent shared tasks, in SemEval and CoNLL, that addressed UCCA parsing. Finally, the tutorial will present recent applications and extensions to the scheme, demonstrating its value for natural language processing in a range of languages and domains.


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Semantically Constrained Multilayer Annotation: The Case of Coreference
Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations

We propose a coreference annotation scheme as a layer on top of the Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation foundational layer, treating units in predicate-argument structure as a basis for entity and event mentions. We argue that this allows coreference annotators to sidestep some of the challenges faced in other schemes, which do not enforce consistency with predicate-argument structure and vary widely in what kinds of mentions they annotate and how. The proposed approach is examined with a pilot annotation study and compared with annotations from other schemes.

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Made for Each Other: Broad-Coverage Semantic Structures Meet Preposition Supersenses
Jakob Prange | Nathan Schneider | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation (UCCA; Abend and Rappoport, 2013) is a typologically-informed, broad-coverage semantic annotation scheme that describes coarse-grained predicate-argument structure but currently lacks semantic roles. We argue that lexicon-free annotation of the semantic roles marked by prepositions, as formulated by Schneider et al. (2018), is complementary and suitable for integration within UCCA. We show empirically for English that the schemes, though annotated independently, are compatible and can be combined in a single semantic graph. A comparison of several approaches to parsing the integrated representation lays the groundwork for future research on this task.


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Comprehensive Supersense Disambiguation of English Prepositions and Possessives
Nathan Schneider | Jena D. Hwang | Vivek Srikumar | Jakob Prange | Austin Blodgett | Sarah R. Moeller | Aviram Stern | Adi Bitan | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic relations are often signaled with prepositional or possessive marking—but extreme polysemy bedevils their analysis and automatic interpretation. We introduce a new annotation scheme, corpus, and task for the disambiguation of prepositions and possessives in English. Unlike previous approaches, our annotations are comprehensive with respect to types and tokens of these markers; use broadly applicable supersense classes rather than fine-grained dictionary definitions; unite prepositions and possessives under the same class inventory; and distinguish between a marker’s lexical contribution and the role it marks in the context of a predicate or scene. Strong interannotator agreement rates, as well as encouraging disambiguation results with established supervised methods, speak to the viability of the scheme and task.


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A Corpus of Literal and Idiomatic Uses of German Infinitive-Verb Compounds
Andrea Horbach | Andrea Hensler | Sabine Krome | Jakob Prange | Werner Scholze-Stubenrecht | Diana Steffen | Stefan Thater | Christian Wellner | Manfred Pinkal
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

We present an annotation study on a representative dataset of literal and idiomatic uses of German infinitive-verb compounds in newspaper and journal texts. Infinitive-verb compounds form a challenge for writers of German, because spelling regulations are different for literal and idiomatic uses. Through the participation of expert lexicographers we were able to obtain a high-quality corpus resource which offers itself as a testbed for automatic idiomaticity detection and coarse-grained word-sense disambiguation. We trained a classifier on the corpus which was able to distinguish literal and idiomatic uses with an accuracy of 85 %.

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UdS-(retrain|distributional|surface): Improving POS Tagging for OOV Words in German CMC and Web Data
Jakob Prange | Andrea Horbach | Stefan Thater
Proceedings of the 10th Web as Corpus Workshop