Improved reconstruction of protolanguage word forms

Alexandre Bouchard-Côté, Thomas L. Griffiths, Dan Klein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present an unsupervised approach to reconstructing ancient word forms. The present work addresses three limitations of previous work. First, previous work focused on faithfulness features, which model changes between successive languages. We add markedness features, which model well-formedness within each language. Second, we introduce universal features, which support generalizations across languages. Finally, we increase the number of languages to which these methods can be applied by an order of magnitude by using improved inference methods. Experiments on the reconstruction of Proto-Oceanic, Proto-Malayo-Javanic, and Classical Latin show substantial reductions in error rate, giving the best results to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNAACL HLT 2009 - Human Language Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationThe 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages65-73
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781932432411
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
EventHuman Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, NAACL HLT 2009 - Boulder, CO, United States
Duration: May 31 2009Jun 5 2009

Publication series

NameNAACL HLT 2009 - Human Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Other

OtherHuman Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, NAACL HLT 2009
CountryUnited States
CityBoulder, CO
Period5/31/096/5/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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