Harnessing Deep Cross-lingual Word Embeddings to Infer Accurate Phylogenetic Trees

Abstract

Establishing language relatedness by inferring phylogenetic trees has been a topic of interest in the area of diachronic linguistics. However, existing methods face meaning conflation deficiency due to the usage of lexical similarity-based measures. In this paper, we utilize fourteen linked Indian Wordnets to create inter-language distances using our novel approach to compute ‘language distances’. Our pilot study uses deep cross-lingual word embeddings to compute inter-language distances and provide an effective distance matrix to infer phylogenetic trees. We also develop a baseline method using lexical similarity-based metrics for comparison and identify that our approach produces better phylogenetic trees which club related languages closer when compared to the baseline approach.

Publication
In ACM India Joint International Conference on Data Science and Management of Data (YRS @ CoDS-COMAD 2020)