A computational psycholinguistic evaluation of the syntactic abilities of Galician BERT models at the interface of dependency resolution and training time

This paper explores the ability of Transformer models to capture subject-verb and noun-adjective agreement dependencies in Galician. We conduct a series of word prediction experiments in which we manipulate dependency length together with the presence of an attractor noun that acts as a lure. First, we evaluate the overall performance of the existing monolingual and multilingual models for Galician. Secondly, to observe the effects of the training process, we compare the different degrees of achievement of two monolingual BERT models at different training points. We also release their checkpoints and propose an alternative evaluation metric. Our results confirm previous findings by similar works that use the agreement prediction task and provide interesting insights into the number of training steps required by a Transformer model to solve long-distance dependencies.

keywords: BERT models, Galician, targeted syntactic evaluation, agreement dependencies.