Morphological Inflection with Phonological Features

David Guriel, Omer Goldman, Reut Tsarfaty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recent years have brought great advances into solving morphological tasks, mostly due to powerful neural models applied to various tasks as (re)inflection and analysis. Yet, such morphological tasks cannot be considered solved, especially when little training data is available or when generalizing to previously unseen lemmas. This work explores effects on performance obtained through various ways in which morphological models get access to sub-character phonological features that are often the targets of morphological processes. We design two methods to achieve this goal: one that leaves models as is but manipulates the data to include features instead of characters, and another that manipulates models to take phonological features into account when building representations for phonemes. We elicit phonemic data from standard graphemic data using language-specific grammars for languages with shallow grapheme-to-phoneme mapping, and we experiment with two reinflection models over eight languages. Our results show that our methods yield comparable results to the grapheme-based baseline overall, with minor improvements in some of the languages. All in all, we conclude that patterns in character distributions are likely to allow models to infer the underlying phonological characteristics, even when phonemes are not explicitly represented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShort Papers
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781959429715
StatePublished - 2023
Event61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 9 Jul 202314 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
ISSN (Print)0736-587X


Conference61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Association for Computational Linguistics.


This research is funded by a grant from the European Research Council, ERC-StG grant number 677352, and a grant by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), grant number 3-17992, for which we are grateful.

FundersFunder number
European Research Council
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space3-17992
Ministry of science and technology, Israel


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