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Corpus-Driven Bilingual Lexicon Extraction - University of Malta

Corpus-Driven Bilingual Lexicon Extraction - University of Malta

Corpus-Driven Bilingual Lexicon Extraction - University of

Corpus-Driven Bilingual Lexicon ExtractionMichael RosnerDepartment of Computer Science and AI,University of MaltaAbstract. This paper introduces some key aspects of machine translation in order to situatethe role of the bilingual lexicon in transfer-based systems. It then discusses the data-drivenapproach to extracting bilingual knowledge automatically from bilingual texts, tracing theprocesses of alignment at different levels of granularity. The paper concludes with somesuggestions for future work.1 Machine Translationsource languageparse treetransfertarget languageparse treeparsinggenerationsource language wordstarget language wordsFig. 1.The Machine Translation (MT) problem is almost as old as Computer Science, the first efforts atsolving it dating from the beginning of the 1950s. At that time, early enthusiasm with the novel andapparently limitless capabilities of digital computers led to grandiose claims that the MT problemwould be cracked by purely technological approaches.However, researchers not only failed to appreciate the computational complexity of the problem butalso the role of non-technological factors: syntactic and semantic knowledge, and also subtle culturalconventions that play an important role in distinguishing a good translation from a meaninglessone.By ignoring these factors the systems developed by the early researchers were hopelessly inadequatein terms of both coverage and quality of translation. As a consequence, almost all of the funding forMT dried up in the mid-1960s with a recommendation that more investigation into fundamentallinguistic issues and their computational properties was necessary if MT was to move ahead.This certainly happened. For the next twenty years the emerging field of computational linguisticsconcentrated upon the development of grammar formalisms – special purpose notations createdwith the twin goals of (i) encoding linguistic knowledge and (ii) determining computations.

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