State-of-the-art contextual embeddings are obtained from large language models available only for a few languages. For others, we need to learn representations using a multilingual model. There is an ongoing debate on whether multilingual embeddings can be aligned in a space shared across many languages. The novel Orthogonal Structural Probe (Limisiewicz and Mareček, 2021) allows us to answer this question for specific linguistic features and learn a projection based only on mono-lingual annotated datasets. We evaluate syntactic (UD) and lexical (WordNet) structural information encoded inmBERT’s contextual representations for nine diverse languages. We observe that for languages closely related to English, no transformation is needed. The evaluated information is encoded in a shared cross-lingual embedding space. For other languages, it is beneficial to apply orthogonal transformation learned separately for each language. We successfully apply our findings to zero-shot and few-shot cross-lingual parsing.
With the recent success of pre-trained models in NLP, a significant focus was put on interpreting their representations. One of the most prominent approaches is structural probing (Hewitt and Manning, 2019), where a linear projection of word embeddings is performed in order to approximate the topology of dependency structures. In this work, we introduce a new type of structural probing, where the linear projection is decomposed into 1. iso-morphic space rotation; 2. linear scaling that identifies and scales the most relevant dimensions. In addition to syntactic dependency, we evaluate our method on two novel tasks (lexical hypernymy and position in a sentence). We jointly train the probes for multiple tasks and experimentally show that lexical and syntactic information is separated in the representations. Moreover, the orthogonal constraint makes the Structural Probes less vulnerable to memorization.
This work focuses on analyzing the form and extent of syntactic abstraction captured by BERT by extracting labeled dependency trees from self-attentions. Previous work showed that individual BERT heads tend to encode particular dependency relation types. We extend these findings by explicitly comparing BERT relations to Universal Dependencies (UD) annotations, showing that they often do not match one-to-one. We suggest a method for relation identification and syntactic tree construction. Our approach produces significantly more consistent dependency trees than previous work, showing that it better explains the syntactic abstractions in BERT. At the same time, it can be successfully applied with only a minimal amount of supervision and generalizes well across languages.
Gender bias in machine translation can manifest when choosing gender inflections based on spurious gender correlations. For example, always translating doctors as men and nurses as women. This can be particularly harmful as models become more popular and deployed within commercial systems. Our work presents the largest evidence for the phenomenon in more than 19 systems submitted to the WMT over four diverse target languages: Czech, German, Polish, and Russian. To achieve this, we use WinoMT, a recent automatic test suite which examines gender coreference and bias when translating from English to languages with grammatical gender. We extend WinoMT to handle two new languages tested in WMT: Polish and Czech. We find that all systems consistently use spurious correlations in the data rather than meaningful contextual information.