Michaelle Dubé


Handling Idioms in Symbolic Multilingual Natural Language Generation
Michaelle Dubé | François Lareau
Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Multiword Expressions @LREC2022

While idioms are usually very rigid in their expression, they sometimes allow a certain level of freedom in their usage, with modifiers or complements splitting them or being syntactically attached to internal nodes rather than to the root (e.g., “take something with a big grain of salt”). This means that they cannot always be handled as ready-made strings in rule-based natural language generation systems. Having access to the internal syntactic structure of an idiom allows for more subtle processing. We propose a way to enumerate all possible language-independent n-node trees and to map particular idioms of a language onto these generic syntactic patterns. Using this method, we integrate the idioms from the LN-fr into GenDR, a multilingual realizer. Our implementation covers nearly 98% of LN-fr’s idioms with high precision, and can easily be extended or ported to other languages.