Does BERT Learn as Humans Perceive? Understanding Linguistic Styles through Lexica

Shirley Anugrah Hayati, Dongyeop Kang, Lyle Ungar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

People convey their intention and attitude through linguistic styles of the text that they write. In this study, we investigate lexicon usages across styles throughout two lenses: human perception and machine word importance, since words differ in the strength of the stylistic cues that they provide. To collect labels of human perception, we curate a new dataset, HUMMINGBIRD, on top of benchmarking style datasets. We have crowd workers highlight the representative words in the text that makes them think the text has the following styles: politeness, sentiment, offensiveness, and five emotion types. We then compare these human word labels with word importance derived from a popular fine-tuned style classifier like BERT. Our results show that the BERT often finds content words not relevant to the target style as important words used in style prediction, but humans do not perceive the same way even though for some styles (e.g., positive sentiment and joy) human- and machine-identified words share significant overlap for some styles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2021 - 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages6323-6331
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781955917094
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2021 - Virtual, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Duration: Nov 7 2021Nov 11 2021

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2021 - 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2021
Country/TerritoryDominican Republic
CityVirtual, Punta Cana
Period11/7/2111/11/21

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association for Computational Linguistics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Does BERT Learn as Humans Perceive? Understanding Linguistic Styles through Lexica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this