Fine-Grained Error Analysis and Fair Evaluation of Labeled Spans
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
The traditional evaluation of labeled spans with precision, recall, and F1-score has undesirable effects due to double penalties. Annotations with incorrect label or boundaries count as two errors instead of one, despite being closer to the target annotation than false positives or false negatives. In this paper, new error types are introduced, which more accurately reflect true annotation quality and ensure that every annotation counts only once. An algorithm for error identification in flat and multi-level annotations is presented and complemented with a proposal on how to calculate meaningful precision, recall, and F1-scores based on the more fine-grained error types. The exemplary application to three different annotation tasks (NER, chunking, parsing) shows that the suggested procedure not only prevents double penalties but also allows for a more detailed error analysis, thereby providing more insight into the actual weaknesses of a system.
Automatic Phrase Recognition in Historical German
Proceedings of the 17th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS 2021)
Chunking Historical German
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)
Quantitative studies of historical syntax require large amounts of syntactically annotated data, which are rarely available. The application of NLP methods could reduce manual annotation effort, provided that they achieve sufficient levels of accuracy. The present study investigates the automatic identification of chunks in historical German texts. Because no training data exists for this task, chunks are extracted from modern and historical constituency treebanks and used to train a CRF-based neural sequence labeling tool. The evaluation shows that the neural chunker outperforms an unlexicalized baseline and achieves overall F-scores between 90% and 94% for different historical data sets when POS tags are used as feature. The conducted experiments demonstrate the usefulness of including historical training data while also highlighting the importance of reducing boundary errors to improve annotation precision.
Automatic Topological Field Identification in (Historical) German Texts
Proceedings of the The 4th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature
For the study of certain linguistic phenomena and their development over time, large amounts of textual data must be enriched with relevant annotations. Since the manual creation of such annotations requires a lot of effort, automating the process with NLP methods would be convenient. But the required amounts of training data are usually not available for non-standard or historical language. The present study investigates whether models trained on modern newspaper text can be used to automatically identify topological fields, i.e. syntactic structures, in different modern and historical German texts. The evaluation shows that, in general, it is possible to transfer a parser model to other registers or time periods with overall F1-scores >92%. However, an error analysis makes clear that additional rules and domain-specific training data would be beneficial if sentence structures differ significantly from the training data, e.g. in the case of Early New High German.
Automatic Orality Identification in Historical Texts
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
Independently of the medial representation (written/spoken), language can exhibit characteristics of conceptual orality or literacy, which mainly manifest themselves on the lexical or syntactic level. In this paper we aim at automatically identifying conceptually-oral historical texts, with the ultimate goal of gaining knowledge about spoken data of historical time stages. We apply a set of general linguistic features that have been proven to be effective for the classification of modern language data to historical German texts from various registers. Many of the features turn out to be equally useful in determining the conceptuality of historical data as they are for modern data, especially the frequency of different types of pronouns and the ratio of verbs to nouns. Other features like sentence length, particles or interjections point to peculiarities of the historical data and reveal problems with the adoption of a feature set that was developed on modern language data.
Variation between Different Discourse Types: Literate vs. Oral
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects
This paper deals with the automatic identification of literate and oral discourse in German texts. A range of linguistic features is selected and their role in distinguishing between literate- and oral-oriented registers is investigated, using a decision-tree classifier. It turns out that all of the investigated features are related in some way to oral conceptuality. Especially simple measures of complexity (average sentence and word length) are prominent indicators of oral and literate discourse. In addition, features of reference and deixis (realized by different types of pronouns) also prove to be very useful in determining the degree of orality of different registers.
Annotating Orthographic Target Hypotheses in a German L1 Learner Corpus
Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications
NLP applications for learners often rely on annotated learner corpora. Thereby, it is important that the annotations are both meaningful for the task, and consistent and reliable. We present a new longitudinal L1 learner corpus for German (handwritten texts collected in grade 2–4), which is transcribed and annotated with a target hypothesis that strictly only corrects orthographic errors, and is thereby tailored to research and tool development for orthographic issues in primary school. While for most corpora, transcription and target hypothesis are not evaluated, we conducted a detailed inter-annotator agreement study for both tasks. Although we achieved high agreement, our discussion of cases of disagreement shows that even with detailed guidelines, annotators differ here and there for different reasons, which should also be considered when working with transcriptions and target hypotheses of other corpora, especially if no explicit guidelines for their construction are known.