Austin Blodgett


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A Corpus of Adpositional Supersenses for Mandarin Chinese
Siyao Peng | Yang Liu | Yilun Zhu | Austin Blodgett | Yushi Zhao | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Adpositions are frequent markers of semantic relations, but they are highly ambiguous and vary significantly from language to language. Moreover, there is a dearth of annotated corpora for investigating the cross-linguistic variation of adposition semantics, or for building multilingual disambiguation systems. This paper presents a corpus in which all adpositions have been semantically annotated in Mandarin Chinese; to the best of our knowledge, this is the first Chinese corpus to be broadly annotated with adposition semantics. Our approach adapts a framework that defined a general set of supersenses according to ostensibly language-independent semantic criteria, though its development focused primarily on English prepositions (Schneider et al., 2018). We find that the supersense categories are well-suited to Chinese adpositions despite syntactic differences from English. On a Mandarin translation of The Little Prince, we achieve high inter-annotator agreement and analyze semantic correspondences of adposition tokens in bitext.

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Transition-based Parsing with Stack-Transformers
Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Miguel Ballesteros | Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Radu Florian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Modeling the parser state is key to good performance in transition-based parsing. Recurrent Neural Networks considerably improved the performance of transition-based systems by modelling the global state, e.g. stack-LSTM parsers, or local state modeling of contextualized features, e.g. Bi-LSTM parsers. Given the success of Transformer architectures in recent parsing systems, this work explores modifications of the sequence-to-sequence Transformer architecture to model either global or local parser states in transition-based parsing. We show that modifications of the cross attention mechanism of the Transformer considerably strengthen performance both on dependency and Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing tasks, particularly for smaller models or limited training data.


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An Improved Approach for Semantic Graph Composition with CCG
Austin Blodgett | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computational Semantics - Long Papers

This paper builds on previous work using Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) to derive a transparent syntax-semantics interface for Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing. We define new semantics for the CCG combinators that is better suited to deriving AMR graphs. In particular, we define relation-wise alternatives for the application and composition combinators: these require that the two constituents being combined overlap in one AMR relation. We also provide a new semantics for type raising, which is necessary for certain constructions. Using these mechanisms, we suggest an analysis of eventive nouns, which present a challenge for deriving AMR graphs. Our theoretical analysis will facilitate future work on robust and transparent AMR parsing using CCG.


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Semantic Supersenses for English Possessives
Austin Blodgett | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Comprehensive Supersense Disambiguation of English Prepositions and Possessives
Nathan Schneider | Jena D. Hwang | Vivek Srikumar | Jakob Prange | Austin Blodgett | Sarah R. Moeller | Aviram Stern | Adi Bitan | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic relations are often signaled with prepositional or possessive marking—but extreme polysemy bedevils their analysis and automatic interpretation. We introduce a new annotation scheme, corpus, and task for the disambiguation of prepositions and possessives in English. Unlike previous approaches, our annotations are comprehensive with respect to types and tokens of these markers; use broadly applicable supersense classes rather than fine-grained dictionary definitions; unite prepositions and possessives under the same class inventory; and distinguish between a marker’s lexical contribution and the role it marks in the context of a predicate or scene. Strong interannotator agreement rates, as well as encouraging disambiguation results with established supervised methods, speak to the viability of the scheme and task.