Winston Wu


2023

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Crossing the Aisle: Unveiling Partisan and Counter-Partisan Events in News Reporting
Kaijian Zou | Xinliang Zhang | Winston Wu | Nicholas Beauchamp | Lu Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

News media is expected to uphold unbiased reporting. Yet they may still affect public opinion by selectively including or omitting events that support or contradict their ideological positions. Prior work in NLP has only studied media bias via linguistic style and word usage. In this paper, we study to which degree media balances news reporting and affects consumers through event inclusion or omission. We first introduce the task of detecting both partisan and counter-partisan events: events that support or oppose the author’s political ideology. To conduct our study, we annotate a high-quality dataset, PAC, containing 8,511 (counter-)partisan event annotations in 304 news articles from ideologically diverse media outlets. We benchmark PAC to highlight the challenges of this task. Our findings highlight both the ways in which the news subtly shapes opinion and the need for large language models that better understand events within a broader context. Our dataset can be found at https://github.com/launchnlp/Partisan-Event-Dataset.

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You Are What You Annotate: Towards Better Models through Annotator Representations
Naihao Deng | Xinliang Zhang | Siyang Liu | Winston Wu | Lu Wang | Rada Mihalcea
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Annotator disagreement is ubiquitous in natural language processing (NLP) tasks. There are multiple reasons for such disagreements, including the subjectivity of the task, difficult cases, unclear guidelines, and so on. Rather than simply aggregating labels to obtain data annotations, we instead try to directly model the diverse perspectives of the annotators, and explicitly account for annotators’ idiosyncrasies in the modeling process by creating representations for each annotator (*annotator embeddings*) and also their annotations (*annotation embeddings*). In addition, we propose **TID-8**, **T**he **I**nherent **D**isagreement - **8** dataset, a benchmark that consists of eight existing language understanding datasets that have inherent annotator disagreement. We test our approach on TID-8 and show that our approach helps models learn significantly better from disagreements on six different datasets in TID-8 while increasing model size by fewer than 1% parameters. By capturing the unique tendencies and subjectivity of individual annotators through embeddings, our representations prime AI models to be inclusive of diverse viewpoints.

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Cross-Cultural Analysis of Human Values, Morals, and Biases in Folk Tales
Winston Wu | Lu Wang | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Folk tales are strong cultural and social influences in children’s lives, and they are known to teach morals and values. However, existing studies on folk tales are largely limited to European tales. In our study, we compile a large corpus of over 1,900 tales originating from 27 diverse cultures across six continents. Using a range of lexicons and correlation analyses, we examine how human values, morals, and gender biases are expressed in folk tales across cultures. We discover differences between cultures in prevalent values and morals, as well as cross-cultural trends in problematic gender biases. Furthermore, we find trends of reduced value expression when examining public-domain fiction stories, extrinsically validate our analyses against the multicultural Schwartz Survey of Cultural Values and the Global Gender Gap Report, and find traditional gender biases associated with values, morals, and agency. This large-scale cross-cultural study of folk tales paves the way towards future studies on how literature influences and reflects cultural norms.

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The SIGMORPHON 2022 Shared Task on Cross-lingual and Low-Resource Grapheme-to-Phoneme Conversion
Arya D. McCarthy | Jackson L. Lee | Alexandra DeLucia | Travis Bartley | Milind Agarwal | Lucas F.E. Ashby | Luca Del Signore | Cameron Gibson | Reuben Raff | Winston Wu
Proceedings of the 20th SIGMORPHON workshop on Computational Research in Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

Grapheme-to-phoneme conversion is an important component in many speech technologies, but until recently there were no multilingual benchmarks for this task. The third iteration of the SIGMORPHON shared task on multilingual grapheme-to-phoneme conversion features many improvements from the previous year’s task (Ashby et al., 2021), including additional languages, three subtasks varying the amount of available resources, extensive quality assurance procedures, and automated error analyses. Three teams submitted a total of fifteen systems, at best achieving relative reductions of word error rate of 14% in the crosslingual subtask and 14% in the very-low resource subtask. The generally consistent result is that cross-lingual transfer substantially helps grapheme-to-phoneme modeling, but not to the same degree as in-language examples.

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Word Category Arcs in Literature Across Languages and Genres
Winston Wu | Lu Wang | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the The 5th Workshop on Narrative Understanding

Word category arcs measure the progression of word usage across a story. Previous work on arcs has explored structural and psycholinguistic arcs through the course of narratives, but so far it has been limited to \textit{English} narratives and a narrow set of word categories covering binary emotions and cognitive processes. In this paper, we expand over previous work by (1) introducing a novel, general approach to quantitatively analyze word usage arcs for any word category through a combination of clustering and filtering; and (2) exploring narrative arcs in literature in eight different languages across multiple genres. Through multiple experiments and analyses, we quantify the nature of narratives across languages, corroborating existing work on monolingual narrative arcs as well as drawing new insights about the interpretation of arcs through correlation analyses.

2022

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An Analysis of Acknowledgments in NLP Conference Proceedings
Winston Wu
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science (NLP+CSS)

While acknowledgments are often overlooked and sometimes entirely missing from publications, this short section of a paper can provide insights on the state of a field. We characterize and perform a textual analysis of acknowledgments in NLP conference proceedings across the last 17 years, revealing broader trends in funding and research directions in NLP as well as interesting phenomena including career incentives and the influence of defaults.

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Deciphering and Characterizing Out-of-Vocabulary Words for Morphologically Rich Languages
Georgie Botev | Arya D. McCarthy | Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a detailed foundational empirical case study of the nature of out-of-vocabulary words encountered in modern text in a moderate-resource language such as Bulgarian, and a multi-faceted distributional analysis of the underlying word-formation processes that can aid in their compositional translation, tagging, parsing, language modeling, and other NLP tasks. Given that out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words generally present a key open challenge to NLP and machine translation systems, especially toward the lower limit of resource availability, there are useful practical insights, as well as corpus-linguistic insights, from both a detailed manual and automatic taxonomic analysis of the types, multidimensional properties, and processing potential for multiple representative OOV data samples.

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Known Words Will Do: Unknown Concept Translation via Lexical Relations
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Technologies for Machine Translation of Low-Resource Languages (LoResMT 2022)

Translating into low-resource languages is challenging due to the scarcity of training data. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic lexical translation method that bridges through lexical relations including synonyms, hypernyms, hyponyms, and co-hyponyms. This method, which only requires a dictionary like Wiktionary and a lexical database like WordNet, enables the translation of unknown vocabulary into low-resource languages for which we may only know the translation of a related concept. Experiments on translating a core vocabulary set into 472 languages, most of them low-resource, show the effectiveness of our approach.

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Late Fusion with Triplet Margin Objective for Multimodal Ideology Prediction and Analysis
Changyuan Qiu | Winston Wu | Xinliang Frederick Zhang | Lu Wang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Prior work on ideology prediction has largely focused on single modalities, i.e., text or images. In this work, we introduce the task of multimodal ideology prediction, where a model predicts binary or five-point scale ideological leanings, given a text-image pair with political content. We first collect five new large-scale datasets with English documents and images along with their ideological leanings, covering news articles from a wide range of mainstream media in US and social media posts from Reddit and Twitter. We conduct in-depth analyses on news articles and reveal differences in image content and usage across the political spectrum. Furthermore, we perform extensive experiments and ablation studies, demonstrating the effectiveness of targeted pretraining objectives on different model components. Our best-performing model, a late-fusion architecture pretrained with a triplet objective over multimodal content, outperforms the state-of-the-art text-only model by almost 4% and a strong multimodal baseline with no pretraining by over 3%.

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On the Robustness of Cognate Generation Models
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We evaluate two popular neural cognate generation models’ robustness to several types of human-plausible noise (deletion, duplication, swapping, and keyboard errors, as well as a new type of error, phonological errors). We find that duplication and phonological substitution is least harmful, while the other types of errors are harmful. We present an in-depth analysis of the models’ results with respect to each error type to explain how and why these models perform as they do.

2021

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Evaluating Neural Model Robustness for Machine Comprehension
Winston Wu | Dustin Arendt | Svitlana Volkova
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

We evaluate neural model robustness to adversarial attacks using different types of linguistic unit perturbations – character and word, and propose a new method for strategic sentence-level perturbations. We experiment with different amounts of perturbations to examine model confidence and misclassification rate, and contrast model performance with different embeddings BERT and ELMo on two benchmark datasets SQuAD and TriviaQA. We demonstrate how to improve model performance during an adversarial attack by using ensembles. Finally, we analyze factors that effect model behavior under adversarial attack, and develop a new model to predict errors during attacks. Our novel findings reveal that (a) unlike BERT, models that use ELMo embeddings are more susceptible to adversarial attacks, (b) unlike word and paraphrase, character perturbations affect the model the most but are most easily compensated for by adversarial training, (c) word perturbations lead to more high-confidence misclassifications compared to sentence- and character-level perturbations, (d) the type of question and model answer length (the longer the answer the more likely it is to be incorrect) is the most predictive of model errors in adversarial setting, and (e) conclusions about model behavior are dataset-specific.

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Sequence Models for Computational Etymology of Borrowings
Winston Wu | Kevin Duh | David Yarowsky
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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On Pronunciations in Wiktionary: Extraction and Experiments on Multilingual Syllabification and Stress Prediction
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 14th Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora (BUCC 2021)

We constructed parsers for five non-English editions of Wiktionary, which combined with pronunciations from the English edition, comprises over 5.3 million IPA pronunciations, the largest pronunciation lexicon of its kind. This dataset is a unique comparable corpus of IPA pronunciations annotated from multiple sources. We analyze the dataset, noting the presence of machine-generated pronunciations. We develop a novel visualization method to quantify syllabification. We experiment on the new combined task of multilingual IPA syllabification and stress prediction, finding that training a massively multilingual neural sequence-to-sequence model with copy attention can improve performance on both high- and low-resource languages, and multi-task training on stress prediction helps with syllabification.

2020

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Neural Transduction for Multilingual Lexical Translation
Dylan Lewis | Winston Wu | Arya D. McCarthy | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We present a method for completing multilingual translation dictionaries. Our probabilistic approach can synthesize new word forms, allowing it to operate in settings where correct translations have not been observed in text (cf. cross-lingual embeddings). In addition, we propose an approximate Maximum Mutual Information (MMI) decoding objective to further improve performance in both many-to-one and one-to-one word level translation tasks where we use either multiple input languages for a single target language or more typical single language pair translation. The model is trained in a many-to-many setting, where it can leverage information from related languages to predict words in each of its many target languages. We focus on 6 languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Turkish. When indirect multilingual information is available, ensembling with mixture-of-experts as well as incorporating related languages leads to a 27% relative improvement in whole-word accuracy of predictions over a single-source baseline. To seed the completion when multilingual data is unavailable, it is better to decode with an MMI objective.

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Wiktionary Normalization of Translations and Morphological Information
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We extend the Yawipa Wiktionary Parser (Wu and Yarowsky, 2020) to extract and normalize translations from etymology glosses, and morphological form-of relations, resulting in 300K unique translations and over 4 million instances of 168 annotated morphological relations. We propose a method to identify typos in translation annotations. Using the extracted morphological data, we develop multilingual neural models for predicting three types of word formation—clipping, contraction, and eye dialect—and improve upon a standard attention baseline by using copy attention.

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The JHU Submission to the 2020 Duolingo Shared Task on Simultaneous Translation and Paraphrase for Language Education
Huda Khayrallah | Jacob Bremerman | Arya D. McCarthy | Kenton Murray | Winston Wu | Matt Post
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Neural Generation and Translation

This paper presents the Johns Hopkins University submission to the 2020 Duolingo Shared Task on Simultaneous Translation and Paraphrase for Language Education (STAPLE). We participated in all five language tasks, placing first in each. Our approach involved a language-agnostic pipeline of three components: (1) building strong machine translation systems on general-domain data, (2) fine-tuning on Duolingo-provided data, and (3) generating n-best lists which are then filtered with various score-based techniques. In addi- tion to the language-agnostic pipeline, we attempted a number of linguistically-motivated approaches, with, unfortunately, little success. We also find that improving BLEU performance of the beam-search generated translation does not necessarily improve on the task metric—weighted macro F1 of an n-best list.

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The Johns Hopkins University Bible Corpus: 1600+ Tongues for Typological Exploration
Arya D. McCarthy | Rachel Wicks | Dylan Lewis | Aaron Mueller | Winston Wu | Oliver Adams | Garrett Nicolai | Matt Post | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present findings from the creation of a massively parallel corpus in over 1600 languages, the Johns Hopkins University Bible Corpus (JHUBC). The corpus consists of over 4000 unique translations of the Christian Bible and counting. Our data is derived from scraping several online resources and merging them with existing corpora, combining them under a common scheme that is verse-parallel across all translations. We detail our effort to scrape, clean, align, and utilize this ripe multilingual dataset. The corpus captures the great typological variety of the world’s languages. We catalog this by showing highly similar proportions of representation of Ethnologue’s typological features in our corpus. We also give an example application: projecting pronoun features like clusivity across alignments to richly annotate languages which do not mark the distinction.

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Computational Etymology and Word Emergence
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We developed an extensible, comprehensive Wiktionary parser that improves over several existing parsers. We predict the etymology of a word across the full range of etymology types and languages in Wiktionary, showing improvements over a strong baseline. We also model word emergence and show the application of etymology in modeling this phenomenon. We release our parser to further research in this understudied field.

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An Analysis of Massively Multilingual Neural Machine Translation for Low-Resource Languages
Aaron Mueller | Garrett Nicolai | Arya D. McCarthy | Dylan Lewis | Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

In this work, we explore massively multilingual low-resource neural machine translation. Using translations of the Bible (which have parallel structure across languages), we train models with up to 1,107 source languages. We create various multilingual corpora, varying the number and relatedness of source languages. Using these, we investigate the best ways to use this many-way aligned resource for multilingual machine translation. Our experiments employ a grammatically and phylogenetically diverse set of source languages during testing for more representative evaluations. We find that best practices in this domain are highly language-specific: adding more languages to a training set is often better, but too many harms performance—the best number depends on the source language. Furthermore, training on related languages can improve or degrade performance, depending on the language. As there is no one-size-fits-most answer, we find that it is critical to tailor one’s approach to the source language and its typology.

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Fine-grained Morphosyntactic Analysis and Generation Tools for More Than One Thousand Languages
Garrett Nicolai | Dylan Lewis | Arya D. McCarthy | Aaron Mueller | Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Exploiting the broad translation of the Bible into the world’s languages, we train and distribute morphosyntactic tools for approximately one thousand languages, vastly outstripping previous distributions of tools devoted to the processing of inflectional morphology. Evaluation of the tools on a subset of available inflectional dictionaries demonstrates strong initial models, supplemented and improved through ensembling and dictionary-based reranking. Likewise, a novel type-to-token based evaluation metric allows us to confirm that models generalize well across rare and common forms alike

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Multilingual Dictionary Based Construction of Core Vocabulary
Winston Wu | Garrett Nicolai | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We propose a new functional definition and construction method for core vocabulary sets for multiple applications based on the relative coverage of a target concept in thousands of bilingual dictionaries. Our newly developed core concept vocabulary list derived from these dictionary consensus methods achieves high overlap with existing widely utilized core vocabulary lists targeted at applications such as first and second language learning or field linguistics. Our in-depth analysis illustrates multiple desirable properties of our newly proposed core vocabulary set, including their non-compositionality. We employ a cognate prediction method to recover missing coverage of this core vocabulary in massively multilingual dictionary construction, and we argue that this core vocabulary should be prioritized for elicitation when creating new dictionaries for low-resource languages for multiple downstream tasks including machine translation and language learning.

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JHUBC’s Submission to LT4HALA EvaLatin 2020
Winston Wu | Garrett Nicolai
Proceedings of LT4HALA 2020 - 1st Workshop on Language Technologies for Historical and Ancient Languages

We describe the JHUBC submission to the EvaLatin Shared task on lemmatization and part-of-speech tagging for Latin. We modify a hard-attentional character-based encoder-decoder to produce lemmas and POS tags with separate decoders, and to incorporate contextual tagging cues. While our results show that the dual decoder approach fails to encode data as successfully as the single encoder, our simple context incorporation method does lead to modest improvements.

2019

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An Exploration of Placeholding in Neural Machine Translation
Matt Post | Shuoyang Ding | Marianna Martindale | Winston Wu
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XVII: Research Track

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Modeling Color Terminology Across Thousands of Languages
Arya D. McCarthy | Winston Wu | Aaron Mueller | William Watson | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

There is an extensive history of scholarship into what constitutes a “basic” color term, as well as a broadly attested acquisition sequence of basic color terms across many languages, as articulated in the seminal work of Berlin and Kay (1969). This paper employs a set of diverse measures on massively cross-linguistic data to operationalize and critique the Berlin and Kay color term hypotheses. Collectively, the 14 empirically-grounded computational linguistic metrics we design—as well as their aggregation—correlate strongly with both the Berlin and Kay basic/secondary color term partition (γ = 0.96) and their hypothesized universal acquisition sequence. The measures and result provide further empirical evidence from computational linguistics in support of their claims, as well as additional nuance: they suggest treating the partition as a spectrum instead of a dichotomy.

2018

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A Comparative Study of Extremely Low-Resource Transliteration of the World’s Languages
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Creating a Translation Matrix of the Bible’s Names Across 591 Languages
Winston Wu | Nidhi Vyas | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Creating Large-Scale Multilingual Cognate Tables
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Massively Translingual Compound Analysis and Translation Discovery
Winston Wu | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)