Exploiting parse structures for native language identification

Sze Meng Jojo Wong*, Mark Dras

*Corresponding author for this work

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

44 Citations (Scopus)


Attempts to profile authors according to their characteristics extracted from textual data, including native language, have drawn attention in recent years, via various machine learning approaches utilising mostly lexical features. Drawing on the idea of contrastive analysis, which postulates that syntactic errors in a text are to some extent influenced by the native language of an author, this paper explores the usefulness of syntactic features for native language identification. We take two types of parse substructure as features-horizontal slices of trees, and the more general feature schemas from discriminative parse reranking-and show that using this kind of syntactic feature results in an accuracy score in classification of seven native languages of around 80%, an error reduction of more than 30%.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2011 - Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference
Place of PublicationEdinburgh,UK
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)1937284115, 9781937284114
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventConference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2011 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jul 201131 Jul 2011


OtherConference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom

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