Joint Diacritization, Lemmatization, Normalization, and Fine-Grained Morphological Tagging

Nasser Zalmout, Nizar Habash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semitic languages can be highly ambiguous, having several interpretations of the same surface forms, and morphologically rich, having many morphemes that realize several morphological features. This is further exacerbated for dialectal content, which is more prone to noise and lacks a standard orthography. The morphological features can be lexicalized, like lemmas and diacritized forms, or non-lexicalized, like gender, number, and part-of-speech tags, among others. Joint modeling of the lexicalized and non-lexicalized features can identify more intricate morphological patterns, which provide better context modeling, and further disambiguate ambiguous lexical choices. However, the different modeling granularity can make joint modeling more difficult. Our approach models the different features jointly, whether lexicalized (on the character-level), where we also model surface form normalization, or non-lexicalized (on the word-level). We use Arabic as a test case, and achieve state-of-the-art results for Modern Standard Arabic, with 20% relative error reduction, and Egyptian Arabic (a dialectal variant of Arabic), with 11% reduction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of ACL 2020
StatePublished - 2020
EventThe 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jul 5 2020 → …
Conference number: 2020


  • cs.CL

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