"A Passage to India": Pre-trained Word Embeddings for Indian Languages

Abstract

Dense word vectors or ‘word embeddings’ which encode semantic properties of words, have now become integral to NLP tasks like Machine Translation (MT), Question Answering (QA), Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD), and Information Retrieval (IR). In this paper, we use various existing approaches to create multiple word embeddings for 14 Indian languages. We place these embeddings for all these languages, viz., Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odiya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu in a single repository. Relatively newer approaches that emphasize catering to context (BERT, ELMo, etc.) have shown significant improvements, but require a large amount of resources to generate usable models. We release pre-trained embeddings generated using both contextual and non-contextual approaches. We also use MUSE and XLM to train cross-lingual embeddings for all pairs of the aforementioned languages. To show the efficacy of our embeddings, we evaluate our embedding models on XPOS, UPOS and NER tasks for all these languages. We release a total of 436 models using 8 different approaches. We hope they are useful for the resource-constrained Indian language NLP. The title of this paper refers to the famous novel ‘A Passage to India’ by E.M. Forster, published initially in 1924.

Publication
Joint Spoken Language Technologies for Under-resourced languages and Collaboration and Computing for Under-Resourced Languages (LREC 2020 Workshop)