Proceedings of the 16th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVI) within LREC2022

Sameer Pradhan, Sandra Kuebler (Editors)

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Marseille, France
European Language Resources Association
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Proceedings of the 16th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVI) within LREC2022
Sameer Pradhan | Sandra Kuebler

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Automatic Approach for Building Dataset of Citation Functions for COVID-19 Academic Papers
Setio Basuki | Masatoshi Tsuchiya

This paper develops a new dataset of citation functions of COVID-19-related academic papers. Because the preparation of new labels of citation functions and building a new dataset requires much human effort and is time-consuming, this paper uses our previous citation functions that were built for the Computer Science (CS) domain, which consists of five coarse-grained labels and 21 fine-grained labels. This paper uses the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) and extracts 99.6k random citing sentences from 10.1k papers. These citing sentences are categorized using the classification models built from the CS domain. The manually check on 475 random samples resulted accuracies of 76.6% and 70.2% on coarse-grained labels and fine-grained labels, respectively. The evaluation reveals three findings. First, two fine-grained labels experienced meaning shift while retaining the same idea. Second, the COVID-19 domain is dominated by statements highlighting the importance, cruciality, usefulness, benefit, consideration, etc. of certain topics for making sensible argumentation. Third, discussing State of The Arts (SOTA) in terms of their outperforming previous works in the COVID-19 domain is less popular compared to the CS domain. Our results will be used for further dataset development by classifying citing sentences in all papers from CORD-19.

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The Development of a Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary for Phonetic and Lexical Tagging in Socio-phonetic Research (ESPADA)
Simon Gonzalez

Pronunciation dictionaries are an important component in the process of speech forced alignment. The accuracy of these dictionaries has a strong effect on the aligned speech data since they help the mapping between orthographic transcriptions and acoustic signals. In this paper, I present the creation of a comprehensive pronunciation dictionary in Spanish (ESPADA) that can be used in most of the dialect variants of Spanish data. Current dictionaries focus on specific regional variants, but with the flexible nature of our tool, it can be readily applied to capture the most common phonetic differences across major dialectal variants. We propose improvements to current pronunciation dictionaries as well as mapping other relevant annotations such as morphological and lexical information. In terms of size, it is currently the most complete dictionary with more than 628,000 entries, representing words from 16 countries. All entries come with their corresponding pronunciations, morphological and lexical tagging, and other relevant information for phonetic analysis: stress patterns, phonotactics, IPA transcriptions, and more. This aims to equip socio-phonetic researchers with a complete open-source tool that enhances dialectal research within socio-phonetic frameworks in the Spanish language.

Extending the SSJ Universal Dependencies Treebank for Slovenian: Was It Worth It?
Kaja Dobrovoljc | Nikola Ljubešić

This paper presents the creation and evaluation of a new version of the reference SSJ Universal Dependencies Treebank for Slovenian, which has been substantially improved and extended to almost double the original size. The process was based on the initial revision and documentation of the language-specific UD annotation guidelines for Slovenian and the corresponding modification of the original SSJ annotations, followed by a two-stage annotation campaign, in which two new subsets have been added, the previously unreleased sentences from the ssj500k corpus and the Slovenian subset of the ELEXIS parallel corpus. The annotation campaign resulted in an extended version of the SSJ UD treebank with 5,435 newly added sentences comprising of 126,427 tokens. To evaluate the potential benefits of this data increase for Slovenian dependency parsing, we compared the performance of the classla-stanza dependency parser trained on the old and the new SSJ data when evaluated on the new SSJ test set and its subsets. Our results show an increase of LAS performance in general, especially for previously under-represented syntactic phenomena, such as lists, elliptical constructions and appositions, but also confirm the distinct nature of the two newly added subsets and the diversification of the SSJ treebank as a whole.

Converting the Sinica Treebank of Mandarin Chinese to Universal Dependencies
Yu-Ming Hsieh | Yueh-Yin Shih | Wei-Yun Ma

This paper describes the conversion of the Sinica Treebank, one of the major Mandarin Chinese treebanks, to Universal Dependencies. The conversion is rule-based and the process involves POS tag mapping, head adjusting in line with the UD scheme and the dependency conversion. Linguistic insights into Mandarin Chinese alongwith the conversion are also discussed. The resulting corpus is the UD Chinese Sinica Treebank which contains more than fifty thousand tree structures according to the UD scheme. The dataset can be downloaded at

Desiderata for the Annotation of Information Structure in Complex Sentences
Hannah Booth

Many annotation schemes for information structure have been developed in recent years (Calhoun et al., 2005; Paggio, 2006; Goetze et al., 2007; Bohnet et al., 2013; Riester et al., 2018), in line with increased attention on the interaction between discourse and other linguistic dimensions (e.g. syntax, semantics, prosody). However, a crucial issue which existing schemes either gloss over, or propose only crude guidelines for, is how to annotate information structure in complex sentences. This unsatisfactory treatment is unsurprising given that theoretical work on information structure has traditionally neglected its status in dependent clauses. In this paper, I evaluate the status of pre-existing annotation schemes in relation to this vexed issue, and outline certain desiderata as a foundation for novel, more nuanced approaches, informed by state-of-the art theoretical insights (Erteschik-Shir, 2007; Bianchi and Frascarelli, 2010; Lahousse, 2010; Ebert et al., 2014; Matic et al., 2014; Lahousse, 2022). These desiderata relate both to annotation formats and the annotation process. The practical implications of these desiderata are illustrated via a test case using the Corpus of Historical Low German (Booth et al., 2020). The paper overall showcases the benefits which result from a free exchange between linguistic annotation models and theoretical research.

The Sensitivity of Annotator Bias to Task Definitions in Argument Mining
Terne Sasha Thorn Jakobsen | Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard | David Lassen

NLP models are dependent on the data they are trained on, including how this data is annotated. NLP research increasingly examines the social biases of models, but often in the light of their training data and specific social biases that can be identified in the text itself. In this paper, we present an annotation experiment that is the first to examine the extent to which social bias is sensitive to how data is annotated. We do so by collecting annotations of arguments in the same documents following four different guidelines and from four different demographic annotator backgrounds. We show that annotations exhibit widely different levels of group disparity depending on which guidelines annotators follow. The differences are not explained by task complexity, but rather by characteristics of these demographic groups, as previously identified by sociological studies. We release a dataset that is small in the number of instances but large in the number of annotations with demographic information, and our results encourage an increased awareness of annotator bias.

NLP in Human Rights Research: Extracting Knowledge Graphs about Police and Army Units and Their Commanders
Daniel Bauer | Tom Longley | Yueen Ma | Tony Wilson

In this paper we explore the use of an NLP system to assist the work of Security Force Monitor (SFM). SFM creates data about the organizational structure, command personnel and operations of police, army and other security forces, which assists human rights researchers, journalists and litigators in their work to help identify and bring to account specific units and personnel alleged to have committed abuses of human rights and international criminal law. This paper presents an NLP system that extracts from English language news reports the names of security force units and the biographical details of their personnel, and infers the formal relationship between them. Published alongside this paper are the system’s code and training dataset. We find that the experimental NLP system performs the task at a fair to good level. Its performance is sufficient to justify further development into a live workflow that will give insight into whether its performance translates into savings in time and resource that would make it an effective technical intervention.

Advantages of a Complex Multilayer Annotation Scheme: The Case of the Prague Dependency Treebank
Eva Hajicova | Marie Mikulová | Barbora Štěpánková | Jiří Mírovský

Recently, many corpora have been developed that contain multiple annotations of various linguistic phenomena, from morphological categories of words through the syntactic structure of sentences to discourse and coreference relations in texts. Discussions are ongoing on an appropriate annotation scheme for a large amount of diverse information. In our contribution we express our conviction that a multilayer annotation scheme offers to view the language system in its complexity and in the interaction of individual phenomena and that there are at least two aspects that support such a scheme: (i) A multilayer annotation scheme makes it possible to use the annotation of one layer to design the annotation of another layer(s) both conceptually and in a form of a pre-annotation procedure or annotation checking rules. (ii) A multilayer annotation scheme presents a reliable ground for corpus studies based on features across the layers. These aspects are demonstrated on the case of the Prague Dependency Treebank. Its multilayer annotation scheme withstood the test of time and serves well also for complex textual annotations, in which earlier morpho-syntactic annotations are advantageously used. In addition to a reference to the previous projects that utilise its annotation scheme, we present several current investigations.

Introducing StarDust: A UD-based Dependency Annotation Tool
Arife B. Yenice | Neslihan Cesur | Aslı Kuzgun | Olcay Taner Yıldız

This paper aims to introduce StarDust, a new, open-source annotation tool designed for NLP studies. StarDust is designed specifically to be intuitive and simple for the annotators while also supporting the annotation of multiple languages with different morphological typologies, e.g. Turkish and English. This demonstration will mainly focus on our UD-based annotation tool for dependency syntax. Linked to a morphological analyzer, the tool can detect certain annotator mistakes and limit undesired dependency relations as well as offering annotators a quick and effective annotation process thanks to its new simple interface. Our tool can be downloaded from the Github.

Annotation of Messages from Social Media for Influencer Detection
Kevin Deturck | Damien Nouvel | Namrata Patel | Frédérique Segond

To develop an influencer detection system, we designed an influence model based on the analysis of conversations in the “Change My View” debate forum. This led us to identify enunciative features (argumentation, emotion expression, view change, ...) related to influence between participants. In this paper, we present the annotation campaign we conducted to build up a reference corpus on these enunciative features. The annotation task was to identify in social media posts the text segments that corresponded to each enunciative feature. The posts to be annotated were extracted from two social media: the “Change My View” debate forum, with discussions on various topics, and Twitter, with posts from users identified as supporters of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Over a thousand posts have been double or triple annotated throughout five annotation sessions gathering a total of 27 annotators. Some of the sessions involved the same annotators, which allowed us to analyse the evolution of their annotation work. Most of the sessions resulted in a reconciliation phase between the annotators, allowing for discussion and iterative improvement of the guidelines. We measured and analysed inter-annotator agreements over the course of the sessions, which allowed us to validate our iterative approach.

Charon: A FrameNet Annotation Tool for Multimodal Corpora
Frederico Belcavello | Marcelo Viridiano | Ely Matos | Tiago Timponi Torrent

This paper presents Charon, a web tool for annotating multimodal corpora with FrameNet categories. Annotation can be made for corpora containing both static images and video sequences paired – or not – with text sequences. The pipeline features, besides the annotation interface, corpus import and pre-processing tools.

Effect of Source Language on AMR Structure
Shira Wein | Wai Ching Leung | Yifu Mu | Nathan Schneider

The Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) annotation schema was originally designed for English. But the formalism has since been adapted for annotation in a variety of languages. Meanwhile, cross-lingual parsers have been developed to derive English AMR representations for sentences from other languages—implicitly assuming that English AMR can approximate an interlingua. In this work, we investigate the similarity of AMR annotations in parallel data and how much the language matters in terms of the graph structure. We set out to quantify the effect of sentence language on the structure of the parsed AMR. As a case study, we take parallel AMR annotations from Mandarin Chinese and English AMRs, and replace all Chinese concepts with equivalent English tokens. We then compare the two graphs via the Smatch metric as a measure of structural similarity. We find that source language has a dramatic impact on AMR structure, with Smatch scores below 50% between English and Chinese graphs in our sample—an important reference point for interpreting Smatch scores in cross-lingual AMR parsing.

Midas Loop: A Prioritized Human-in-the-Loop Annotation for Large Scale Multilayer Data
Luke Gessler | Lauren Levine | Amir Zeldes

Large scale annotation of rich multilayer corpus data is expensive and time consuming, motivating approaches that integrate high quality automatic tools with active learning in order to prioritize human labeling of hard cases. A related challenge in such scenarios is the concurrent management of automatically annotated data and human annotated data, particularly where different subsets of the data have been corrected for different types of annotation and with different levels of confidence. In this paper we present [REDACTED], a collaborative, version-controlled online annotation environment for multilayer corpus data which includes integrated provenance and confidence metadata for each piece of information at the document, sentence, token and annotation level. We present a case study on improving annotation quality in an existing multilayer parse bank of English called AMALGUM, focusing on active learning in corpus preprocessing, at the surprisingly challenging level of sentence segmentation. Our results show improvements to state-of-the-art sentence segmentation and a promising workflow for getting “silver” data to approach gold standard quality.

How “Loco” Is the LOCO Corpus? Annotating the Language of Conspiracy Theories
Ludovic Mompelat | Zuoyu Tian | Amanda Kessler | Matthew Luettgen | Aaryana Rajanala | Sandra Kübler | Michelle Seelig

Conspiracy theories have found a new channel on the internet and spread by bringing together like-minded people, thus functioning as an echo chamber. The new 88-million word corpus Language of Conspiracy (LOCO) was created with the intention to provide a text collection to study how the language of conspiracy differs from mainstream language. We use this corpus to develop a robust annotation scheme that will allow us to distinguish between documents containing conspiracy language and documents that do not contain any conspiracy content or that propagate conspiracy theories via misinformation (which we explicitly disregard in our work). We find that focusing on indicators of a belief in a conspiracy combined with textual cues of conspiracy language allows us to reach a substantial agreement (based on Fleiss’ kappa and Krippendorff’s alpha). We also find that the automatic retrieval methods used to collect the corpus work well in finding mainstream documents, but include some documents in the conspiracy category that would not belong there based on our definition.

Putting Context in SNACS: A 5-Way Classification of Adpositional Pragmatic Markers
Yang Janet Liu | Jena D. Hwang | Nathan Schneider | Vivek Srikumar

The SNACS framework provides a network of semantic labels called supersenses for annotating adpositional semantics in corpora. In this work, we consider English prepositions (and prepositional phrases) that are chiefly pragmatic, contributing extra-propositional contextual information such as speaker attitudes and discourse structure. We introduce a preliminary taxonomy of pragmatic meanings to supplement the semantic SNACS supersenses, with guidelines for the annotation of coherence connectives, commentary markers, and topic and focus markers. We also examine annotation disagreements, delve into the trickiest boundary cases, and offer a discussion of future improvements.

Building a Biomedical Full-Text Part-of-Speech Corpus Semi-Automatically
Nicholas Elder | Robert E. Mercer | Sudipta Singha Roy

This paper presents a method for semi-automatically building a corpus of full-text English-language biomedical articles annotated with part-of-speech tags. The outcomes are a semi-automatic procedure to create a large silver standard corpus of 5 million sentences drawn from a large corpus of full-text biomedical articles annotated for part-of-speech, and a robust, easy-to-use software tool that assists the investigation of differences in two tagged datasets. The method to build the corpus uses two part-of-speech taggers designed to tag biomedical abstracts followed by a human dispute settlement when the two taggers differ on the tagging of a token. The dispute resolution aspect is facilitated by the software tool which organizes and presents the disputed tags. The corpus and all of the software that has been implemented for this study are made publicly available.

Human Schema Curation via Causal Association Rule Mining
Noah Weber | Anton Belyy | Nils Holzenberger | Rachel Rudinger | Benjamin Van Durme

Event schemas are structured knowledge sources defining typical real-world scenarios (e.g., going to an airport). We present a framework for efficient human-in-the-loop construction of a schema library, based on a novel script induction system and a well-crafted interface that allows non-experts to “program” complex event structures. Associated with this work we release a schema library: a machine readable resource of 232 detailed event schemas, each of which describe a distinct typical scenario in terms of its relevant sub-event structure (what happens in the scenario), participants (who plays a role in the scenario), fine-grained typing of each participant, and the implied relational constraints between them. We make our schema library and the SchemaBlocks interface available online.

A Cognitive Approach to Annotating Causal Constructions in a Cross-Genre Corpus
Angela Cao | Gregor Williamson | Jinho D. Choi

We present a scheme for annotating causal language in various genres of text. Our annotation scheme is built on the popular categories of cause, enable, and prevent. These vague categories have many edge cases in natural language, and as such can prove difficult for annotators to consistently identify in practice. We introduce a decision based annotation method for handling these edge cases. We demonstrate that, by utilizing this method, annotators are able to achieve inter-annotator agreement which is comparable to that of previous studies. Furthermore, our method performs equally well across genres, highlighting the robustness of our annotation scheme. Finally, we observe notable variation in usage and frequency of causal language across different genres.

Automatic Enrichment of Abstract Meaning Representations
Yuxin Ji | Gregor Williamson | Jinho D. Choi

Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) is a semantic graph framework which inadequately represent a number of important semantic features including number, (in)definiteness, quantifiers, and intensional contexts. Several proposals have been made to improve the representational adequacy of AMR by enriching its graph structure. However, these modifications are rarely added to existing AMR corpora due to the labor costs associated with manual annotation. In this paper, we develop an automated annotation tool which algorithmically enriches AMR graphs to better represent number, (in)definite articles, quantificational determiners, and intensional arguments. We compare our automatically produced annotations to gold-standard manual annotations and show that our automatic annotator achieves impressive results. All code for this paper, including our automatic annotation tool, is made publicly available.

GRAILGeneralized Representation and Aggregation of Information Layers
Sameer Pradhan | Mark Liberman

This paper identifies novel characteristics necessary to successfully represent multiple streams of natural language information from speech and text simultaneously, and proposes a multi-tiered system that implements these characteristics centered around a declarative configuration. The system facilitates easy incremental extension by allowing the creation of composable workflows of loosely coupled extensions, or plugins, allowing simple intial systems to be extended to accomodate rich representations while maintaining high data integrity. Key to this is leveraging established tools and technologies. We demonstrate using a small example.