Using the Web as a Linguistic Resource to Automatically Correct Lexico-Syntactic Errors

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ConferenceThe 6th Edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 06), May 28-30, 2008., Marrakech, Morocco
AbstractThis paper presents an algorithm for correcting language errors typical of second-language learners. We focus on preposition errors, which are very common among second-language learners but are not addressed well by current commercial grammar correctors and editing aids. The algorithm takes as input a sentence containing a preposition error (and possibly other errors as well), and outputs the correct preposition for that particular sentence context. We use a two-phase hybrid rule-based and statistical approach. In the first phase, rule-based processing is used to generate a short expression that captures the context of use of the preposition in the input sentence. In the second phase, Web searches are used to evaluate the frequency of this expression, when alternative prepositions are used instead of the original one. We tested this algorithm on a corpus of 133 French sentences written by intermediate second-language learners, and found that it could address 69.9% of those cases. In contrast, we found that the best French grammar and spell checker currently on the market,Antidote, addressed only 3% of those cases. We also showed that performance degrades gracefully when using a corpus of frequent n-grams to evaluate frequencies.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number50382
NPARC number5763525
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Record identifiere885c21d-9b3a-4932-b655-c8e4e5e0f86b
Record created2009-03-29
Record modified2016-05-09
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