Rolando Coto-Solano

Also published as: Rolando Coto Solano


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AmericasNLI: Evaluating Zero-shot Natural Language Understanding of Pretrained Multilingual Models in Truly Low-resource Languages
Abteen Ebrahimi | Manuel Mager | Arturo Oncevay | Vishrav Chaudhary | Luis Chiruzzo | Angela Fan | John Ortega | Ricardo Ramos | Annette Rios | Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz | Gustavo Giménez-Lugo | Elisabeth Mager | Graham Neubig | Alexis Palmer | Rolando Coto-Solano | Thang Vu | Katharina Kann
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pretrained multilingual models are able to perform cross-lingual transfer in a zero-shot setting, even for languages unseen during pretraining. However, prior work evaluating performance on unseen languages has largely been limited to low-level, syntactic tasks, and it remains unclear if zero-shot learning of high-level, semantic tasks is possible for unseen languages. To explore this question, we present AmericasNLI, an extension of XNLI (Conneau et al., 2018) to 10 Indigenous languages of the Americas. We conduct experiments with XLM-R, testing multiple zero-shot and translation-based approaches. Additionally, we explore model adaptation via continued pretraining and provide an analysis of the dataset by considering hypothesis-only models. We find that XLM-R’s zero-shot performance is poor for all 10 languages, with an average performance of 38.48%. Continued pretraining offers improvements, with an average accuracy of 43.85%. Surprisingly, training on poorly translated data by far outperforms all other methods with an accuracy of 49.12%.


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Towards Universal Dependencies for Bribri
Rolando Coto-Solano | Sharid Loáiciga | Sofía Flores-Solórzano
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Universal Dependencies (UDW, SyntaxFest 2021)

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Explicit Tone Transcription Improves ASR Performance in Extremely Low-Resource Languages: A Case Study in Bribri
Rolando Coto-Solano
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Linguistic tone is transcribed for input into ASR systems in numerous ways. This paper shows a systematic test of several transcription styles, using as an example the Chibchan language Bribri, an extremely low-resource language from Costa Rica. The most successful models separate the tone from the vowel, so that the ASR algorithms learn tone patterns independently. These models showed improvements ranging from 4% to 25% in character error rate (CER), and between 3% and 23% in word error rate (WER). This is true for both traditional GMM/HMM and end-to-end CTC algorithms. This paper also presents the first attempt to train ASR models for Bribri. The best performing models had a CER of 33% and a WER of 50%. Despite the disadvantage of using hand-engineered representations, these models were trained on only 68 minutes of data, and therefore show the potential of ASR to generate further training materials and aid in the documentation and revitalization of the language.

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Findings of the AmericasNLP 2021 Shared Task on Open Machine Translation for Indigenous Languages of the Americas
Manuel Mager | Arturo Oncevay | Abteen Ebrahimi | John Ortega | Annette Rios | Angela Fan | Ximena Gutierrez-Vasques | Luis Chiruzzo | Gustavo Giménez-Lugo | Ricardo Ramos | Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz | Rolando Coto-Solano | Alexis Palmer | Elisabeth Mager-Hois | Vishrav Chaudhary | Graham Neubig | Ngoc Thang Vu | Katharina Kann
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Indigenous Languages of the Americas

This paper presents the results of the 2021 Shared Task on Open Machine Translation for Indigenous Languages of the Americas. The shared task featured two independent tracks, and participants submitted machine translation systems for up to 10 indigenous languages. Overall, 8 teams participated with a total of 214 submissions. We provided training sets consisting of data collected from various sources, as well as manually translated sentences for the development and test sets. An official baseline trained on this data was also provided. Team submissions featured a variety of architectures, including both statistical and neural models, and for the majority of languages, many teams were able to considerably improve over the baseline. The best performing systems achieved 12.97 ChrF higher than baseline, when averaged across languages.


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Neural Machine Translation Models with Back-Translation for the Extremely Low-Resource Indigenous Language Bribri
Isaac Feldman | Rolando Coto-Solano
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a neural machine translation model and dataset for the Chibchan language Bribri, with an average performance of BLEU 16.9±1.7. This was trained on an extremely small dataset (5923 Bribri-Spanish pairs), providing evidence for the applicability of NMT in extremely low-resource environments. We discuss the challenges entailed in managing training input from languages without standard orthographies, we provide evidence of successful learning of Bribri grammar, and also examine the translations of structures that are infrequent in major Indo-European languages, such as positional verbs, ergative markers, numerical classifiers and complex demonstrative systems. In addition to this, we perform an experiment of augmenting the dataset through iterative back-translation (Sennrich et al., 2016a; Hoang et al., 2018) by using Spanish sentences to create synthetic Bribri sentences. This improves the score by an average of 1.0 BLEU, but only when the new Spanish sentences belong to the same domain as the other Spanish examples. This contributes to the small but growing body of research on Chibchan NLP.


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Development of Natural Language Processing Tools for Cook Islands Māori
Rolando Coto Solano | Sally Akevai Nicholas | Samantha Wray
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2018

This paper presents three ongoing projects for NLP in Cook Islands Maori: Untrained Forced Alignment (approx. 9% error when detecting the center of words), speech-to-text (37% WER in the best trained models) and POS tagging (92% accuracy for the best performing model). Included as part of these projects are new resources filling in a gap in Australasian languages, including gold standard POS-tagged written corpora, transcribed speech corpora, time-aligned corpora down to the level of phonemes. These are part of efforts to accelerate the documentation of Cook Islands Maori and to increase its vitality amongst its users.