Proceedings of the 19th Workshop on Multiword Expressions (MWE 2023)

Archna Bhatia, Kilian Evang, Marcos Garcia, Voula Giouli, Lifeng Han, Shiva Taslimipoor (Editors)

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Dubrovnik, Croatia
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 19th Workshop on Multiword Expressions (MWE 2023)
Archna Bhatia | Kilian Evang | Marcos Garcia | Voula Giouli | Lifeng Han | Shiva Taslimipoor

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Token-level Identification of Multiword Expressions using Pre-trained Multilingual Language Models
Raghuraman Swaminathan | Paul Cook

In this paper, we consider novel cross-lingual settings for multiword expression (MWE) identification (Ramisch et al., 2020) and idiomaticity prediction (Tayyar Madabushi et al., 2022) in which systems are tested on languages that are unseen during training. Our findings indicate that pre-trained multilingual language models are able to learn knowledge about MWEs and idiomaticity that is not languagespecific. Moreover, we find that training data from other languages can be leveraged to give improvements over monolingual models.

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Romanian Multiword Expression Detection Using Multilingual Adversarial Training and Lateral Inhibition
Andrei Avram | Verginica Barbu Mititelu | Dumitru-Clementin Cercel

Multiword expressions are a key ingredient for developing large-scale and linguistically sound natural language processing technology. This paper describes our improvements in automatically identifying Romanian multiword expressions on the corpus released for the PARSEME v1.2 shared task. Our approach assumes a multilingual perspective based on the recently introduced lateral inhibition layer and adversarial training to boost the performance of the employed multilingual language models. With the help of these two methods, we improve the F1-score of XLM-RoBERTa by approximately 2.7% on unseen multiword expressions, the main task of the PARSEME 1.2 edition. In addition, our results can be considered SOTA performance, as they outperform the previous results on Romanian obtained by the participants in this competition.

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Predicting Compositionality of Verbal Multiword Expressions in Persian
Mahtab Sarlak | Yalda Yarandi | Mehrnoush Shamsfard

The identification of Verbal Multiword Expressions (VMWEs) presents a greater challenge compared to non-verbal MWEs due to their higher surface variability. VMWEs are linguistic units that exhibit varying levels of semantic opaqueness and pose difficulties for computational models in terms of both their identification and the degree of compositionality. In this study, a new approach to predicting the compositional nature of VMWEs in Persian is presented. The method begins with an automatic identification of VMWEs in Persian sentences, which is approached as a sequence labeling problem for recognizing the components of VMWEs. The method then creates word embeddings that better capture the semantic properties of VMWEs and uses them to determine the degree of compositionality through multiple criteria. The study compares two neural architectures for identification, BiLSTM and ParsBERT, and shows that a fine-tuned BERT model surpasses the BiLSTM model in evaluation metrics with an F1 score of 89%. Next, a word2vec embedding model is trained to capture the semantics of identified VMWEs and is used to estimate their compositionality, resulting in an accuracy of 70.9% as demonstrated by experiments on a collected dataset of expert-annotated compositional and non-compositional VMWEs.

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PARSEME corpus release 1.3
Agata Savary | Cherifa Ben Khelil | Carlos Ramisch | Voula Giouli | Verginica Barbu Mititelu | Najet Hadj Mohamed | Cvetana Krstev | Chaya Liebeskind | Hongzhi Xu | Sara Stymne | Tunga Güngör | Thomas Pickard | Bruno Guillaume | Eduard Bejček | Archna Bhatia | Marie Candito | Polona Gantar | Uxoa Iñurrieta | Albert Gatt | Jolanta Kovalevskaite | Timm Lichte | Nikola Ljubešić | Johanna Monti | Carla Parra Escartín | Mehrnoush Shamsfard | Ivelina Stoyanova | Veronika Vincze | Abigail Walsh

We present version 1.3 of the PARSEME multilingual corpus annotated with verbal multiword expressions. Since the previous version, new languages have joined the undertaking of creating such a resource, some of the already existing corpora have been enriched with new annotated texts, while others have been enhanced in various ways. The PARSEME multilingual corpus represents 26 languages now. All monolingual corpora therein use Universal Dependencies v.2 tagset. They are (re-)split observing the PARSEME v.1.2 standard, which puts impact on unseen VMWEs. With the current iteration, the corpus release process has been detached from shared tasks; instead, a process for continuous improvement and systematic releases has been introduced.

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Investigating the Effects of MWE Identification in Structural Topic Modelling
Dimitrios Kokkinakis | Ricardo Muñoz Sánchez | Sebastianus Bruinsma | Mia-Marie Hammarlin

Multiword expressions (MWEs) are common word combinations which exhibit idiosyncrasies in various linguistic levels. For various downstream natural language processing applications and tasks, the identification and discovery of MWEs has been proven to be potentially practical and useful, but still challenging to codify. In this paper we investigate various, relevant to MWE, resources and tools for Swedish, and, within a specific application scenario, namely ‘vaccine skepticism’, we apply structural topic modelling to investigate whether there are any interpretative advantages of identifying MWEs.

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Idioms, Probing and Dangerous Things: Towards Structural Probing for Idiomaticity in Vector Space
Filip Klubička | Vasudevan Nedumpozhimana | John Kelleher

The goal of this paper is to learn more about how idiomatic information is structurally encoded in embeddings, using a structural probing method. We repurpose an existing English verbal multi-word expression (MWE) dataset to suit the probing framework and perform a comparative probing study of static (GloVe) and contextual (BERT) embeddings. Our experiments indicate that both encode some idiomatic information to varying degrees, but yield conflicting evidence as to whether idiomaticity is encoded in the vector norm, leaving this an open question. We also identify some limitations of the used dataset and highlight important directions for future work in improving its suitability for a probing analysis.

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Graph-based multi-layer querying in Parseme Corpora
Bruno Guillaume

We present a graph-based tool which can be used to explore Verbal Multi-Word Expression (VMWE) annotated in the Parseme project. The tool can be used for linguistic exploration on the data, for helping the manual annotation process and to search for errors or inconsistencies in the annotations.

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Enriching Multiword Terms in Wiktionary with Pronunciation Information
Lenka Bajcetic | Thierry Declerck | Gilles Sérasset

We report on work in progress dealing with the automated generation of pronunciation information for English multiword terms (MWTs) in Wiktionary, combining information available for their single components. We describe the issues we were encountering, the building of an evaluation dataset, and our teaming with the DBnary resource maintainer. Our approach shows potential for automatically adding morphosyntactic and semantic information to the components of such MWTs.

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Detecting Idiomatic Multiword Expressions in Clinical Terminology using Definition-Based Representation Learning
François Remy | Alfiya Khabibullina | Thomas Demeester

This paper shines a light on the potential of definition-based semantic models for detecting idiomatic and semi-idiomatic multiword expressions (MWEs) in clinical terminology. Our study focuses on biomedical entities defined in the UMLS ontology and aims to help prioritize the translation efforts of these entities. In particular, we develop an effective tool for scoring the idiomaticity of biomedical MWEs based on the degree of similarity between the semantic representations of those MWEs and a weighted average of the representation of their constituents. We achieve this using a biomedical language model trained to produce similar representations for entity names and their definitions, called BioLORD. The importance of this definition-based approach is highlighted by comparing the BioLORD model to two other state-of-the-art biomedical language models based on Transformer: SapBERT and CODER. Our results show that the BioLORD model has a strong ability to identify idiomatic MWEs, not replicated in other models. Our corpus-free idiomaticity estimation helps ontology translators to focus on more challenging MWEs.

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Automatic Generation of Vocabulary Lists with Multiword Expressions
John Lee | Adilet Uvaliyev

The importance of multiword expressions (MWEs) for language learning is well established. While MWE research has been evaluated on various downstream tasks such as syntactic parsing and machine translation, its applications in computer-assisted language learning has been less explored. This paper investigates the selection of MWEs for graded vocabulary lists. Widely used by language teachers and students, these lists recommend a language acquisition sequence to optimize learning efficiency. We automatically generate these lists using difficulty-graded corpora and MWEs extracted based on semantic compositionality. We evaluate these lists on their ability to facilitate text comprehension for learners. Experimental results show that our proposed method generates higher-quality lists than baselines using collocation measures.

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Are Frequent Phrases Directly Retrieved like Idioms? An Investigation with Self-Paced Reading and Language Models
Giulia Rambelli | Emmanuele Chersoni | Marco S. G. Senaldi | Philippe Blache | Alessandro Lenci

An open question in language comprehension studies is whether non-compositional multiword expressions like idioms and compositional-but-frequent word sequences are processed differently. Are the latter constructed online, or are instead directly retrieved from the lexicon, with a degree of entrenchment depending on their frequency? In this paper, we address this question with two different methodologies. First, we set up a self-paced reading experiment comparing human reading times for idioms and both highfrequency and low-frequency compositional word sequences. Then, we ran the same experiment using the Surprisal metrics computed with Neural Language Models (NLMs). Our results provide evidence that idiomatic and high-frequency compositional expressions are processed similarly by both humans and NLMs. Additional experiments were run to test the possible factors that could affect the NLMs’ performance.

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Annotation of lexical bundles with discourse functions in a Spanish academic corpus
Eleonora Guzzi | Margarita Alonso-Ramos | Marcos Garcia | Marcos García Salido

This paper describes the process of annotation of 996 lexical bundles (LB) assigned to 39 different discourse functions in a Spanish academic corpus. The purpose of the annotation is to obtain a new Spanish gold-standard corpus of 1,800,000 words useful for training and evaluating computational models that are capable of identifying automatically LBs for each context in new corpora, as well as for linguistic analysis about the role of LBs in academic discourse. The annotation process revealed that correspondence between LBs and discourse functions is not biunivocal and that the degree of ambiguity is high, so linguists’ contribution has been essential for improving the automatic assignation of tags.

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A Survey of MWE Identification Experiments: The Devil is in the Details
Carlos Ramisch | Abigail Walsh | Thomas Blanchard | Shiva Taslimipoor

Multiword expression (MWE) identification has been the focus of numerous research papers, especially in the context of the DiMSUM and PARSEME Shared Tasks (STs). This survey analyses 40 MWE identification papers with experiments on data from these STs. We look at corpus selection, pre- and post-processing, MWE encoding, evaluation metrics, statistical significance, and error analyses. We find that these aspects are usually considered minor and/or omitted in the literature. However, they may considerably impact the results and the conclusions drawn from them. Therefore, we advocate for more systematic descriptions of experimental conditions to reduce the risk of misleading conclusions drawn from poorly designed experimental setup.

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A MWE lexicon formalism optimised for observational adequacy
Adam Lion-Bouton | Agata Savary | Jean-Yves Antoine

Past research advocates that, in order to handle the unpredictable nature of multiword expressions (MWEs), their identification should be assisted with lexicons. The choice of the format for such lexicons, however, is far from obvious. We propose the first – to our knowledge – method to quantitatively evaluate some MWE lexicon formalisms based on the notion of observational adequacy. We apply it to derive a simple yet adequate MWE-lexicon formalism, dubbed λ-CSS, based on syntactic dependencies. It proves competitive with lexicons based on sequential representation of MWEs, and even comparable to a state-of-the art MWE identifier.