Judith Sieker


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When Your Language Model Cannot Even Do Determiners Right: Probing for Anti-Presuppositions and the Maximize Presupposition! Principle
Judith Sieker | Sina Zarrieß
Proceedings of the 6th BlackboxNLP Workshop: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

The increasing interest in probing the linguistic capabilities of large language models (LLMs) has long reached the area of semantics and pragmatics, including the phenomenon of presuppositions. In this study, we investigate a phenomenon that, however, has not yet been investigated, i.e., the phenomenon of anti-presupposition and the principle that accounts for it, the Maximize Presupposition! principle (MP!). Through an experimental investigation using psycholinguistic data and four open-source BERT model variants, we explore how language models handle different anti-presuppositions and whether they apply the MP! principle in their predictions. Further, we examine whether fine-tuning with Natural Language Inference data impacts adherence to the MP! principle. Our findings reveal that LLMs tend to replicate context-based n-grams rather than follow the MP! principle, with fine-tuning not enhancing their adherence. Notably, our results further indicate a striking difficulty of LLMs to correctly predict determiners, in relatively simple linguistic contexts.

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Beyond the Bias: Unveiling the Quality of Implicit Causality Prompt Continuations in Language Models
Judith Sieker | Oliver Bott | Torgrim Solstad | Sina Zarrieß
Proceedings of the 16th International Natural Language Generation Conference

Recent studies have used human continuations of Implicit Causality (IC) prompts collected in linguistic experiments to evaluate discourse understanding in large language models (LLMs), focusing on the well-known IC coreference bias in the LLMs’ predictions of the next word following the prompt. In this study, we investigate how continuations of IC prompts can be used to evaluate the text generation capabilities of LLMs in a linguistically controlled setting. We conduct an experiment using two open-source GPT-based models, employing human evaluation to assess different aspects of continuation quality. Our findings show that LLMs struggle in particular with generating coherent continuations in this rather simple setting, indicating a lack of discourse knowledge beyond the well-known IC bias. Our results also suggest that a bias congruent continuation does not necessarily equate to a higher continuation quality. Furthermore, our study draws upon insights from the Uniform Information Density hypothesis, testing different prompt modifications and decoding procedures and showing that sampling-based methods are particularly sensitive to the information density of the prompts.


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Exploring Text Recombination for Automatic Narrative Level Detection
Nils Reiter | Judith Sieker | Svenja Guhr | Evelyn Gius | Sina Zarrieß
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Automatizing the process of understanding the global narrative structure of long texts and stories is still a major challenge for state-of-the-art natural language understanding systems, particularly because annotated data is scarce and existing annotation workflows do not scale well to the annotation of complex narrative phenomena. In this work, we focus on the identification of narrative levels in texts corresponding to stories that are embedded in stories. Lacking sufficient pre-annotated training data, we explore a solution to deal with data scarcity that is common in machine learning: the automatic augmentation of an existing small data set of annotated samples with the help of data synthesis. We present a workflow for narrative level detection, that includes the operationalization of the task, a model, and a data augmentation protocol for automatically generating narrative texts annotated with breaks between narrative levels. Our experiments suggest that narrative levels in long text constitute a challenging phenomenon for state-of-the-art NLP models, but generating training data synthetically does improve the prediction results considerably.