Syntax-semantics reading group, 10/22 – Emily Goodwin on systematic syntactic parsing

This week’s syntax-semantics reading group meeting will take place Thursday October 19th at 1:30pm. Emily Goodwin will be presenting her ongoing work on systematic syntactic parsing:

ABSTRACT: Recent work in semantic parsing, including novel datasets like SCAN (Lake and Baroni, 2018) and CFQ (Keysers et al., 2020) demonstrate that semantic parsers generalize well when tested on items highly similar to those in the training set, but struggle with syntactic structures that combine components of training items in novel ways. This indicates a lack of systematicity , the principle that individual words will make similar contributions to the expressions they appear in, independently of surrounding context. Applying this principle to syntactic parsing, we show similar problems plague state of the art syntactic parsers, despite achieving human or near-human performance on randomly sampled test data. Moreover, generalization is especially poor on syntactic relations which are crucial for the compositional semantics.

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