University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The Linguistics of Readability: The Next Step for Word Processing

Newbold, N and Gillam, L (2010) The Linguistics of Readability: The Next Step for Word Processing In: Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Writing: Writing Processes and Authoring Aids (CL&W 2010). At NAACL-HLT 2010, 2010-06-01 - 2010-06-06, Los Angeles.

[img] Text
W10-0409.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (511kB)
Text (licence)

Download (33kB)


In this paper, we present a new approach to writing tools that extends beyond the rudimentary spelling and grammar checking to the content of the writing itself. Linguistic methods have long been used to detect familiar lexical patterns in the text to aid automatic summarization and translation of documents. We apply these methods to determine the quality of the text and implement new techniques for measuring readability and providing feedback to authors on how to improve the quality of their documents. We take an extended view of readability that considers text cohesion, propositional density, and word familiarity. We provide simple feedback to the user detailing the most and least readable sentences, the sentences most densely packed with information and the most cohesive words in their document. Commonly used verbose words and phrases in the text, as identified by The Plain English Campaign, can be replaced with user-selected replacements. Our techniques were implemented as a free download extension to the Open Office word processor generating 6,500 downloads to date.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Subjects : Computing
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Computing Science
Authors :
Newbold, N
Gillam, L
Date : 6 June 2010
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2010 Association for Computational Linguistics
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 06 Mar 2017 15:48
Last Modified : 06 Mar 2017 15:48

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800