The Limitations of ChatGPT’s Morphological Skills in Multiple Languages
A recent study conducted by researchers examined the morphological abilities of ChatGPT in four languages: English, German, Tamil, and Turkish. The findings highlighted ChatGPT’s shortcomings compared to specialized systems, particularly in English. This analysis challenges the notion that ChatGPT possesses human-like language proficiency.
The Significance of Morphological Abilities in Large Language Models
Past investigations into large language models (LLMs) have primarily focused on syntax and semantics while neglecting morphology. However, a comprehensive examination of morphological skills in LLMs is necessary. Previous studies have explored the English past tense, but there is a need to assess other morphological abilities in LLMs. This study aims to address this gap by using the Wug test to evaluate ChatGPT’s performance in morphological tasks across the four mentioned languages. The results shed light on the limitations of ChatGPT compared to systems specifically designed for morphological tasks.
Evaluating ChatGPT’s Morphological Abilities
Prior research has highlighted the linguistic abilities of recent large language models like GPT-4, LLaMA, and PaLM. However, there has been a lack of focus on their morphological capabilities, which involve generating words systematically. This study aims to fill this gap by examining ChatGPT’s morphological skills through the Wug test in the four mentioned languages. The performance of ChatGPT is compared to specialized systems to evaluate its proficiency.
The evaluation method utilizes the Wug test and compares ChatGPT’s outputs with supervised baselines and human annotations. To ensure fairness, unique datasets of nonce words are used, ensuring that ChatGPT has no prior exposure. The evaluation considers three prompting styles: zero-shot, one-shot, and few-shot, with multiple runs for each style. The assessment accounts for inter-speaker morphological variation and includes English, German, Tamil, and Turkish. The results are then compared to purpose-built systems to determine ChatGPT’s performance.
Findings and Implications
The study reveals that ChatGPT requires further development in morphological capabilities, especially in English. Performance levels vary across languages, with German achieving near-human levels of proficiency. The choice of k (number of top-ranked responses) influences the performance gap between baselines and ChatGPT. ChatGPT tends to generate implausible inflections, potentially indicating a bias towards real words. These findings emphasize the need for more research into large language models’ morphological skills and caution against overestimating their human-like language abilities.
Moreover, ChatGPT’s morphological limitations have implications for real-world applications. The study highlights the importance of considering morphology in language model evaluations, given its fundamental role in human language. It also raises questions about the generalizability of the findings to other language models beyond ChatGPT and the generalization to different languages and datasets.
In conclusion, the study provides a thorough analysis of ChatGPT’s morphological abilities in the specified languages, revealing its limitations, particularly in English. This research underscores the importance of further investigating the morphological skills of large language models and advises against premature claims of human-like language proficiency. The study also emphasizes the significance of considering morphology in language model evaluations and its implications for real-world applications.