Modeling Syntactic and Semantic Structures in Hierarchical Phrase-based Translation

Junhui Li, Philip Resnik and Hal Daume III

Incorporating semantic structure into a linguistics-free translation model is challenging, since semantic structures are closely tied to syntax. In this paper, we propose a two-level approach to exploiting predicate-argument structure reordering in a hierarchical phrase-based translation model. First, we introduce linguistically motivated constraints into a hierarchical model, guiding translation phrase choices in favor of those that respect syntactic boundaries. Second, based on such translation phrases, we propose a predicate-argument structure reordering model that predicts reordering not only between an argument and its predicate, but also between two arguments. Experiments on Chinese-to-English translation demonstrate that both advances significantly improve translation accuracy.

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