MERMAID: Metaphor Generation with Symbolism and Discriminative Decoding

03/11/2021 ∙ by Tuhin Chakrabarty, et al. ∙ 0

Generating metaphors is a challenging task as it requires a proper understanding of abstract concepts, making connections between unrelated concepts, and deviating from the literal meaning. Based on a theoretically-grounded connection between metaphors and symbols, we propose a method to automatically construct a parallel corpus by transforming a large number of metaphorical sentences from the Gutenberg Poetry corpus (Jacobs, 2018) to their literal counterpart using recent advances in masked language modeling coupled with commonsense inference. For the generation task, we incorporate a metaphor discriminator to guide the decoding of a sequence to sequence model fine-tuned on our parallel data to generate high-quality metaphors. Human evaluation on an independent test set of literal statements shows that our best model generates metaphors better than three well-crafted baselines 66 human-written poems enhanced with metaphors proposed by our model are preferred 68

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