Supervision for syntactic parsing of low-resource languages




Mielens, Jason David

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Developing tools for doing computational linguistics work in low-resource scenarios often requires creating resources from scratch, especially when considering highly specialized domains or languages with few existing tools or research. Due to practical considerations in project costs and sizes, the resources created in these circumstances are often different from large-scale resources in both quantity and quality, and working with these resources poses a distinctly different set of challenges than working with larger, more established resources. There are different approaches to handling these challenges, including many variations aimed at reducing or eliminating the annotations needed to train models for various tasks. This work considers the task of low-resource syntactic parsing, and looks at the relative benefits of different methods of supervision. I will argue here that the benefits of doing some amount of supervision almost always outweigh the costs associated with doing that annotation; unsupervised or minimally supervised methods are often surpassed with surprisingly small amounts of supervision. This work is primarily concerned with identifying and classifying sources of supervision that are both useful and practical in low-resource scenarios, along with analyzing the performance of systems that make use of these different supervision sources and the behaviors of the minimally trained annotators that provide them. Additionally, I demonstrate several cases where linguistic theory and computational performance are directly connected. Maintaining a focus on the linguistic side of computational linguistics can provide many benefits, especially when working with languages where the correct analysis for various phenomena may still be very much unsettled.



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