Japanese Zero Anaphora Resolution Can Benefit from Parallel Texts Through Neural Transfer Learning
Masato Umakoshi | Yugo Murawaki | Sadao Kurohashi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021
Parallel texts of Japanese and a non-pro-drop language have the potential of improving the performance of Japanese zero anaphora resolution (ZAR) because pronouns dropped in the former are usually mentioned explicitly in the latter. However, rule-based cross-lingual transfer is hampered by error propagation in an NLP pipeline and the frequent lack of transparency in translation correspondences. In this paper, we propose implicit transfer by injecting machine translation (MT) as an intermediate task between pretraining and ZAR. We employ a pretrained BERT model to initialize the encoder part of the encoder-decoder model for MT, and eject the encoder part for fine-tuning on ZAR. The proposed framework empirically demonstrates that ZAR performance can be improved by transfer learning from MT. In addition, we find that the incorporation of the masked language model training into MT leads to further gains.