Statistical French Dependency Parsing: TreeBank Conversion and First Results

We first describe the automatic conversion of the French Treebank (Abeille and Barrier, 2004), a constituency treebank, into typed projective dependency trees. In order to evaluate the overall quality of the resulting dependency treebank, and to quantify the cases where the projectivity constraint leads to wrong dependencies, we compare a subset of the converted treebank to manually validated dependency trees. We then compare the performance of two treebank-trained parsers that output typed dependency parses. The first parser is the MST parser (Mcdonald et al., 2006), which we directly train on dependency trees. The second parser is a combination of the Berkeley parser (Petrov et al., 2006) and a functional role labeler: trained on the original constituency treebank, the Berkeley parser first outputs constituency trees, which are then labeled with functional roles, and then converted into dependency trees. We found that used in combination with a high-accuracy French POS tagger, the MST parser performs a little better for unlabeled dependencies (UAS=90.3% versus 89.6%), and better for labeled dependencies (LAS=87.6% versus 85.6%)
Published in 2010