Nominal Metaphor Generation With Multitask Learning

Yucheng Li, Chenghua Lin, Frank Guerin

Oral Session 4 - Thursday 07/21 16:20 EST
Abstract: Nominal metaphors are frequently used in human language and have been shown to be effective in persuading, expressing emotion, and stimulating interest. This paper tackles the problem of Chinese Nominal Metaphor (NM) generation. We introduce a novel multitask framework, which jointly optimizes three tasks: NM identification, NM component identification, and NM generation. The metaphor identification module is able to perform a self-training procedure, which discovers novel metaphors from a large-scale unlabeled corpus for NM generation. The NM component identification module emphasizes components during training and conditions the generation on these NM components for more coherent results. To train the NM identification and component identification modules, we construct an annotated corpus consisting of 6.3k sentences that contain diverse metaphorical patterns. Automatic metrics show that our method can produce diverse metaphors with good readability, where 92% of them are novel metaphorical comparisons. Human evaluation shows our model significantly outperforms baselines on consistency and creativity.