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Compositional-ly Derived Representations of Morphologically Complex Words in Distributional Semantics

Angeliki Lazaridou, Marco Marelli, Roberto Zamparelli and Marco Baroni

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


Speakers of a language can construct an unlimited number of new words through morphological derivation. This is a major cause of data sparseness for corpus-based approaches to lexical semantics, such as distributional semantic models of word meaning. We adapt compositional methods originally developed for phrases to the task of deriving the distributional meaning of morphologically complex words from their parts. Semantic representations constructed in this way beat a strong baseline and can be of higher quality than representations directly constructed from corpus data. Our results constitute a novel evaluation of the proposed composition methods, in which the full additive model achieves the best performance, and demonstrate the usefulness of a compositional morphology component in distributional semantics.

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