Abstract: Multilingual writers and speakers often alternate between two languages in a single discourse. This practice is called “code-switching”. Existing sentiment detection methods are usually trained on sentiment-labeled monolingual text. Manually labeled code-switched text, especially involving minority languages, is extremely rare. Consequently, the best monolingual methods perform relatively poorly on code-switched text. We present an effective technique for synthesizing labeled code-switched text from labeled monolingual text, which is relatively readily available. The idea is to replace carefully selected subtrees of constituency parses of sentences in the resource-rich language with suitable token spans selected from automatic translations to the resource-poor language. By augmenting the scarce labeled code-switched text with plentiful synthetic labeled code-switched text, we achieve significant improvements in sentiment labeling accuracy (1.5%, 5.11% 7.20%) for three different language pairs (English-Hindi, English-Spanish and English-Bengali). The improvement is even significant in hatespeech detection whereby we achieve a 4% improvement using only synthetic code-switched data (6% with data augmentation).
Authors: Bidisha Samanta, Niloy Ganguly, Soumen Chakrabarti (Indian Institute of Technology)