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Learning Hierarchical Translation Structure with Linguistic Annotations

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Bill Byrne.

Sandwiches will be provided.

While it is generally accepted that many translation phenomena are correlated with linguistic structures, employing linguistic syntax for translation has proven a highly non-trivial task. The key assumption behind many approaches is that translation is guided by the source and/or target language parse, employing rules extracted from the parse tree or performing tree transformations. These approaches enforce strict constraints and might overlook important translation phenomena that cross linguistic constituents. We propose a novel flexible modelling approach to introduce linguistic information of varying granularity from the source side. Our method induces joint probability synchronous grammars and estimates their parameters, by selecting and weighing together linguistically motivated rules according to an objective function directly targeting generalisation over future data. We obtain statistically significant improvements across 4 different language pairs with English as source, mounting up to +1.92 BLEU for Chinese as target.

This talk is part of the Speech Seminars series.

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