Julia Watson


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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.