Ethan C. Chau


Specializing Multilingual Language Models: An Empirical Study
Ethan C. Chau | Noah A. Smith
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Multilingual Representation Learning

Pretrained multilingual language models have become a common tool in transferring NLP capabilities to low-resource languages, often with adaptations. In this work, we study the performance, extensibility, and interaction of two such adaptations: vocabulary augmentation and script transliteration. Our evaluations on part-of-speech tagging, universal dependency parsing, and named entity recognition in nine diverse low-resource languages uphold the viability of these approaches while raising new questions around how to optimally adapt multilingual models to low-resource settings.


Parsing with Multilingual BERT, a Small Corpus, and a Small Treebank
Ethan C. Chau | Lucy H. Lin | Noah A. Smith
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Pretrained multilingual contextual representations have shown great success, but due to the limits of their pretraining data, their benefits do not apply equally to all language varieties. This presents a challenge for language varieties unfamiliar to these models, whose labeled and unlabeled data is too limited to train a monolingual model effectively. We propose the use of additional language-specific pretraining and vocabulary augmentation to adapt multilingual models to low-resource settings. Using dependency parsing of four diverse low-resource language varieties as a case study, we show that these methods significantly improve performance over baselines, especially in the lowest-resource cases, and demonstrate the importance of the relationship between such models’ pretraining data and target language varieties.