This paper addresses the problem of part of speech (POS) tagging for the Tamil language, which is low resourced and agglutinative. POS tagging is the process of assigning syntactic categories for the words in a sentence. This is the preliminary step for many of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. For this work, various sequential deep learning models such as recurrent neural network (RNN), Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) and Bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (Bi-LSTM) were used at the word level. For evaluating the model, the performance metrics such as precision, recall, F1-score and accuracy were used. Further, a tag set of 32 tags and 225 000 tagged Tamil words was utilized for training. To find the appropriate hidden state, the hidden states were varied as 4, 16, 32 and 64, and the models were trained. The experiments indicated that the increase in hidden state improves the performance of the model. Among all the combinations, Bi-LSTM with 64 hidden states displayed the best accuracy (94%). For Tamil POS tagging, this is the initial attempt to be carried out using a deep learning model.
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