Translation of Pronominal Anaphora between English and Spanish: Discrepancies and Evaluation

J. Peral and A. Ferrandez

This paper evaluates the different tasks carried out in the translation of pronominal anaphora in a machine translation (MT) system. The MT interlingua approach named AGIR (Anaphora Generation with an Interlingua Representation) improves upon other proposals presented to date because it is able to translate intersentential anaphors, detect co-reference chains, and translate Spanish zero pronouns into English---issues hardly considered by other systems. The paper presents the resolution and evaluation of these anaphora problems in AGIR with the use of different kinds of knowledge (lexical, morphological, syntactic, and semantic). The translation of English and Spanish anaphoric third-person personal pronouns (including Spanish zero pronouns) into the target language has been evaluated on unrestricted corpora. We have obtained a precision of 80.4% and 84.8% in the translation of Spanish and English pronouns, respectively. Although we have only studied the Spanish and English languages, our approach can be easily extended to other languages such as Portuguese, Italian, or Japanese.

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