Experiments in cross-language morphological annotation transferz

Anna Feldman, Montclair State University
Jirka Hana, Charles University
Chris Brew


Annotated corpora are valuable resources for NLP which are often costly to create. We introduce a method for transferring annotation from a morphologically annotated corpus of a source language to a target language. Our approach assumes only that an unannotated text corpus exists for the target language and a simple textbook which describes the basic morphological properties of that language is available. Our paper describes experiments with Polish, Czech, and Russian. However, the method is not tied in any way to these languages. In all the experiments we use the TnT tagger ([3]), a second-order Markov model. Our approach assumes that the information acquired about one language can be used for processing a related language. We have found out that even breath-takingly naive things (such as approximating the Russian transitions by Czech and/or Polish and approximating the Russian emissions by (manually/automatically derived) Czech cognates) can lead to a significant improvement of the tagger's performance.