University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Language Technology Lab Seminars > Vanishing laws of semantic change - studying semantic change using distributional word representations and proper control condition

Vanishing laws of semantic change - studying semantic change using distributional word representations and proper control condition

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Recent developments in NLP have enabled language change research to use tools that were originally developed to study synchronic similarities between words. We review and report several proposed laws of semantic change that have been found for distributional word representations based on these techniques. Furthermore, we advocate the use of control condition under which any proposed laws should be validated. We found that under a stringent control condition, many of the previously reported laws of semantic change diminished significantly, or vanished. Specifically, word frequency is found to play an artefactual role either directly or indirectly (due to co-linearity) in many of the proposed laws of semantic change. We claim that these modified laws are in fact more credible than the original ones due to the diverse factors that are involved in semantic change.

This talk is part of the Language Technology Lab Seminars series.

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