Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Computational Research in Linguistic Typology

Ekaterina Vylomova, Edoardo M. Ponti, Eitan Grossman, Arya D. McCarthy, Yevgeni Berzak, Haim Dubossarsky, Ivan Vulić, Roi Reichart, Anna Korhonen, Ryan Cotterell (Editors)

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Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Computational Research in Linguistic Typology
Ekaterina Vylomova | Edoardo M. Ponti | Eitan Grossman | Arya D. McCarthy | Yevgeni Berzak | Haim Dubossarsky | Ivan Vulić | Roi Reichart | Anna Korhonen | Ryan Cotterell

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SIGTYP 2020 Shared Task: Prediction of Typological Features
Johannes Bjerva | Elizabeth Salesky | Sabrina J. Mielke | Aditi Chaudhary | Celano Giuseppe | Edoardo Maria Ponti | Ekaterina Vylomova | Ryan Cotterell | Isabelle Augenstein

Typological knowledge bases (KBs) such as WALS (Dryer and Haspelmath, 2013) contain information about linguistic properties of the world’s languages. They have been shown to be useful for downstream applications, including cross-lingual transfer learning and linguistic probing. A major drawback hampering broader adoption of typological KBs is that they are sparsely populated, in the sense that most languages only have annotations for some features, and skewed, in that few features have wide coverage. As typological features often correlate with one another, it is possible to predict them and thus automatically populate typological KBs, which is also the focus of this shared task. Overall, the task attracted 8 submissions from 5 teams, out of which the most successful methods make use of such feature correlations. However, our error analysis reveals that even the strongest submitted systems struggle with predicting feature values for languages where few features are known.

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KMI-Panlingua-IITKGP @SIGTYP2020: Exploring rules and hybrid systems for automatic prediction of typological features
Ritesh Kumar | Deepak Alok | Akanksha Bansal | Bornini Lahiri | Atul Kr. Ojha

This paper enumerates SigTyP 2020 Shared Task on the prediction of typological features as performed by the KMI-Panlingua-IITKGP team. The task entailed the prediction of missing values in a particular language, provided, the name of the language family, its genus, location (in terms of latitude and longitude coordinates and name of the country where it is spoken) and a set of feature-value pair are available. As part of fulfillment of the aforementioned task, the team submitted 3 kinds of system - 2 rule-based and one hybrid system. Of these 3, one rule-based system generated the best performance on the test set. All the systems were ‘constrained’ in the sense that no additional dataset or information, other than those provided by the organisers, was used for developing the systems.

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NEMO: Frequentist Inference Approach to Constrained Linguistic Typology Feature Prediction in SIGTYP 2020 Shared Task
Alexander Gutkin | Richard Sproat

This paper describes the NEMO submission to SIGTYP 2020 shared task (Bjerva et al., 2020) which deals with prediction of linguistic typological features for multiple languages using the data derived from World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS). We employ frequentist inference to represent correlations between typological features and use this representation to train simple multi-class estimators that predict individual features. We describe two submitted ridge regression-based configurations which ranked second and third overall in the constrained task. Our best configuration achieved the microaveraged accuracy score of 0.66 on 149 test languages.

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Predicting Typological Features in WALS using Language Embeddings and Conditional Probabilities: ÚFAL Submission to the SIGTYP 2020 Shared Task
Martin Vastl | Daniel Zeman | Rudolf Rosa

We present our submission to the SIGTYP 2020 Shared Task on the prediction of typological features. We submit a constrained system, predicting typological features only based on the WALS database. We investigate two approaches. The simpler of the two is a system based on estimating correlation of feature values within languages by computing conditional probabilities and mutual information. The second approach is to train a neural predictor operating on precomputed language embeddings based on WALS features. Our submitted system combines the two approaches based on their self-estimated confidence scores. We reach the accuracy of 70.7% on the test data and rank first in the shared task.

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Imputing typological values via phylogenetic inference
Gerhard Jäger

This paper describes a workflow to impute missing values in a typological database, a sub- set of the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS). Using a world-wide phylogeny de- rived from lexical data, the model assumes a phylogenetic continuous time Markov chain governing the evolution of typological val- ues. Data imputation is performed via a Max- imum Likelihood estimation on the basis of this model. As back-off model for languages whose phylogenetic position is unknown, a k- nearest neighbor classification based on geo- graphic distance is performed.

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NUIG: Multitasking Self-attention based approach to SigTyp 2020 Shared Task
Chinmay Choudhary

The paper describes the Multitasking Self-attention based approach to constrained sub-task within Sigtyp 2020 Shared task. Our model is simple neural network based architecture inspired by Transformers (CITATION) model. The model uses Multitasking to compute values of all WALS features for a given input language simultaneously.Results show that our approach performs at par with the baseline approaches, even though our proposed approach requires only phylogenetic and geographical attributes namely Longitude, Latitude, Genus-index, Family-index and Country-index and do not use any of the known WALS features of the respective input language, to compute its missing WALS features.