Pre-tokenization of Multi-word Expressions in Cross-lingual Word Embeddings
Naoki Otani | Satoru Ozaki | Xingyuan Zhao | Yucen Li | Micaelah St Johns | Lori Levin
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
Cross-lingual word embedding (CWE) algorithms represent words in multiple languages in a unified vector space. Multi-Word Expressions (MWE) are common in every language. When training word embeddings, each component word of an MWE gets its own separate embedding, and thus, MWEs are not translated by CWEs. We propose a simple method for word translation of MWEs to and from English in ten languages: we first compile lists of MWEs in each language and then tokenize the MWEs as single tokens before training word embeddings. CWEs are trained on a word-translation task using the dictionaries that only contain single words. In order to evaluate MWE translation, we created bilingual word lists from multilingual WordNet that include single-token words and MWEs, and most importantly, include MWEs that correspond to single words in another language. We release these dictionaries to the research community. We show that the pre-tokenization of MWEs as single tokens performs better than averaging the embeddings of the individual tokens of the MWE. We can translate MWEs at a top-10 precision of 30-60%. The tokenization of MWEs makes the occurrences of single words in a training corpus more sparse, but we show that it does not pose negative impacts on single-word translations.