Automatic Gender Identification and Reinflection in Arabic

Nizar Habash, Houda Bouamor, Christine Chung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The impressive progress in many Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications has increased the awareness of some of the biases these NLP systems have with regards to gender identities. In this paper, we propose an approach to extend biased single-output gender-blind NLP systems with gender-specific alternative reinflections. We focus on Arabic, a gender-marking morphologically rich language, in the context of machine translation (MT) from English, and for first-person-singular constructions only. Our contributions are the development of a system-independent gender-awareness wrapper, and the building of a corpus for training and evaluating first-person-singular gender identification and reinflection in Arabic. Our results successfully demonstrate the viability of this approach with 8% relative increase in Bleu score for first-person-singular feminine, and 5.3% comparable increase for first-person-singular masculine on top of a state-of-the-art gender-blind MT system on a held-out test set.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationProceedings of the First Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing
Place of PublicationFlorence, Italy
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

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