Pre- and In-Parsing Models for Neural Empty Category Detection

Yufei Chen, Yuanyuan Zhao, Weiwei Sun, Xiaojun Wan

Motivated by the positive impact of empty category on syntactic parsing, we study neural models for pre- and in-parsing detection of empty category, which has not previously been investigated. We find several non-obvious facts: (a) BiLSTM can capture non-local contextual information which is essential for detecting empty categories, (b) even with a BiLSTM, syntactic information is still able to enhance the detection, and (c) automatic detection of empty categories improves parsing quality for overt words. Our neural ECD models outperform the prior state-of-the-art by significant margins.