Ella Rabinovich


2020

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Pick a Fight or Bite your Tongue: Investigation of Gender Differences in Idiomatic Language Usage
Ella Rabinovich | Hila Gonen | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

A large body of research on gender-linked language has established foundations regarding cross-gender differences in lexical, emotional, and topical preferences, along with their sociological underpinnings. We compile a novel, large and diverse corpus of spontaneous linguistic productions annotated with speakers’ gender, and perform a first large-scale empirical study of distinctions in the usage of figurative language between male and female authors. Our analyses suggest that (1) idiomatic choices reflect gender-specific lexical and semantic preferences in general language, (2) men’s and women’s idiomatic usages express higher emotion than their literal language, with detectable, albeit more subtle, differences between male and female authors along the dimension of dominance compared to similar distinctions in their literal utterances, and (3) contextual analysis of idiomatic expressions reveals considerable differences, reflecting subtle divergences in usage environments, shaped by cross-gender communication styles and semantic biases.

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Exploration of Gender Differences in COVID-19 Discourse on Reddit
Jai Aggarwal | Ella Rabinovich | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 at ACL 2020

Decades of research on differences in the language of men and women have established postulates about the nature of lexical, topical, and emotional preferences between the two genders, along with their sociological underpinnings. Using a novel dataset of male and female linguistic productions collected from the Reddit discussion platform, we further confirm existing assumptions about gender-linked affective distinctions, and demonstrate that these distinctions are amplified in social media postings involving emotionally-charged discourse related to COVID-19. Our analysis also confirms considerable differences in topical preferences between male and female authors in pandemic-related discussions.

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Where New Words Are Born: Distributional Semantic Analysis of Neologisms and Their Semantic Neighborhoods
Maria Ryskina | Ella Rabinovich | Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick | David Mortensen | Yulia Tsvetkov
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 2020

2019

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CodeSwitch-Reddit: Exploration of Written Multilingual Discourse in Online Discussion Forums
Ella Rabinovich | Masih Sultani | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

In contrast to many decades of research on oral code-switching, the study of written multilingual productions has only recently enjoyed a surge of interest. Many open questions remain regarding the sociolinguistic underpinnings of written code-switching, and progress has been limited by a lack of suitable resources. We introduce a novel, large, and diverse dataset of written code-switched productions, curated from topical threads of multiple bilingual communities on the Reddit discussion platform, and explore questions that were mainly addressed in the context of spoken language thus far. We investigate whether findings in oral code-switching concerning content and style, as well as speaker proficiency, are carried over into written code-switching in discussion forums. The released dataset can further facilitate a range of research and practical activities.

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CodeSwitch-Reddit: Exploration of Written Multilingual Discourse in Online Discussion Forums
Ella Rabinovich | Masih Sultani | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2019)

In contrast to many decades of research on oral code-switching, the study of written multilingual productions has only recently enjoyed a surge of interest. Many open questions remain regarding the sociolinguistic underpinnings of written code-switching, and progress has been limited by a lack of suitable resources. We introduce a novel, large, and diverse dataset of written code-switched productions, curated from topical threads of multiple bilingual communities on the Reddit discussion platform, and explore questions that were mainly addressed in the context of spoken language thus far. We investigate whether findings in oral code-switching concerning content and style, as well as speaker proficiency, are carried over into written code-switching in discussion forums. The released dataset can further facilitate a range of research and practical activities.

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Say Anything: Automatic Semantic Infelicity Detection in L2 English Indefinite Pronouns
Ella Rabinovich | Julia Watson | Barend Beekhuizen | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Computational research on error detection in second language speakers has mainly addressed clear grammatical anomalies typical to learners at the beginner-to-intermediate level. We focus instead on acquisition of subtle semantic nuances of English indefinite pronouns by non-native speakers at varying levels of proficiency. We first lay out theoretical, linguistically motivated hypotheses, and supporting empirical evidence, on the nature of the challenges posed by indefinite pronouns to English learners. We then suggest and evaluate an automatic approach for detection of atypical usage patterns, demonstrating that deep learning architectures are promising for this task involving nuanced semantic anomalies.

2018

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Native Language Identification with User Generated Content
Gili Goldin | Ella Rabinovich | Shuly Wintner
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We address the task of native language identification in the context of social media content, where authors are highly-fluent, advanced nonnative speakers (of English). Using both linguistically-motivated features and the characteristics of the social media outlet, we obtain high accuracy on this challenging task. We provide a detailed analysis of the features that sheds light on differences between native and nonnative speakers, and among nonnative speakers with different backgrounds.

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Learning Concept Abstractness Using Weak Supervision
Ella Rabinovich | Benjamin Sznajder | Artem Spector | Ilya Shnayderman | Ranit Aharonov | David Konopnicki | Noam Slonim
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We introduce a weakly supervised approach for inferring the property of abstractness of words and expressions in the complete absence of labeled data. Exploiting only minimal linguistic clues and the contextual usage of a concept as manifested in textual data, we train sufficiently powerful classifiers, obtaining high correlation with human labels. The results imply the applicability of this approach to additional properties of concepts, additional languages, and resource-scarce scenarios.

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Native Language Cognate Effects on Second Language Lexical Choice
Ella Rabinovich | Yulia Tsvetkov | Shuly Wintner
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 6

We present a computational analysis of cognate effects on the spontaneous linguistic productions of advanced non-native speakers. Introducing a large corpus of highly competent non-native English speakers, and using a set of carefully selected lexical items, we show that the lexical choices of non-natives are affected by cognates in their native language. This effect is so powerful that we are able to reconstruct the phylogenetic language tree of the Indo-European language family solely from the frequencies of specific lexical items in the English of authors with various native languages. We quantitatively analyze non-native lexical choice, highlighting cognate facilitation as one of the important phenomena shaping the language of non-native speakers.

2017

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Found in Translation: Reconstructing Phylogenetic Language Trees from Translations
Ella Rabinovich | Noam Ordan | Shuly Wintner
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Translation has played an important role in trade, law, commerce, politics, and literature for thousands of years. Translators have always tried to be invisible; ideal translations should look as if they were written originally in the target language. We show that traces of the source language remain in the translation product to the extent that it is possible to uncover the history of the source language by looking only at the translation. Specifically, we automatically reconstruct phylogenetic language trees from monolingual texts (translated from several source languages). The signal of the source language is so powerful that it is retained even after two phases of translation. This strongly indicates that source language interference is the most dominant characteristic of translated texts, overshadowing the more subtle signals of universal properties of translation.

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Personalized Machine Translation: Preserving Original Author Traits
Ella Rabinovich | Raj Nath Patel | Shachar Mirkin | Lucia Specia | Shuly Wintner
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

The language that we produce reflects our personality, and various personal and demographic characteristics can be detected in natural language texts. We focus on one particular personal trait of the author, gender, and study how it is manifested in original texts and in translations. We show that author’s gender has a powerful, clear signal in originals texts, but this signal is obfuscated in human and machine translation. We then propose simple domain-adaptation techniques that help retain the original gender traits in the translation, without harming the quality of the translation, thereby creating more personalized machine translation systems.

2016

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A Corpus of Native, Non-native and Translated Texts
Sergiu Nisioi | Ella Rabinovich | Liviu P. Dinu | Shuly Wintner
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

We describe a monolingual English corpus of original and (human) translated texts, with an accurate annotation of speaker properties, including the original language of the utterances and the speaker’s country of origin. We thus obtain three sub-corpora of texts reflecting native English, non-native English, and English translated from a variety of European languages. This dataset will facilitate the investigation of similarities and differences between these kinds of sub-languages. Moreover, it will facilitate a unified comparative study of translations and language produced by (highly fluent) non-native speakers, two closely-related phenomena that have only been studied in isolation so far.

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On the Similarities Between Native, Non-native and Translated Texts
Ella Rabinovich | Sergiu Nisioi | Noam Ordan | Shuly Wintner
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2015

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Unsupervised Identification of Translationese
Ella Rabinovich | Shuly Wintner
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 3

Translated texts are distinctively different from original ones, to the extent that supervised text classification methods can distinguish between them with high accuracy. These differences were proven useful for statistical machine translation. However, it has been suggested that the accuracy of translation detection deteriorates when the classifier is evaluated outside the domain it was trained on. We show that this is indeed the case, in a variety of evaluation scenarios. We then show that unsupervised classification is highly accurate on this task. We suggest a method for determining the correct labels of the clustering outcomes, and then use the labels for voting, improving the accuracy even further. Moreover, we suggest a simple method for clustering in the challenging case of mixed-domain datasets, in spite of the dominance of domain-related features over translation-related ones. The result is an effective, fully-unsupervised method for distinguishing between original and translated texts that can be applied to new domains with reasonable accuracy.