Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing

Volume 4919 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 631-642

Linguistic Support for Revising and Editing

  • Cerstin MahlowAffiliated withInstitute of Computational Linguistics, University of Zurich
  • , Michael PiotrowskiAffiliated withInstitute of Computational Linguistics, University of Zurich

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Revising and editing are important parts of the writing process. In fact, multiple revision and editing cycles are crucial for the production of high-quality texts. However, revising and editing are also tedious and error-prone, since changes may introduce new errors.

Grammar checkers, as offered by some word processors, are not a solution. Besides the fact that they are only available for few languages, and regardless of the questionable quality, their conceptual approach is not suitable for experienced writers, who actively create their texts. Word processors offer few, if any, functions for handling text on the same cognitive level as the author: While the author is thinking in high-level linguistic terms, editors and word processors mostly provide low-level character oriented functions. Mapping the intended outcome to these low-level operations is distracting for the author, who now has to focus for a long time on small parts of the text. This results in a loss of global overview of the text and in typical revision errors (duplicate verbs, extraneous conjunctions, etc.)

We therefore propose functions for text processors that work on the conceptual level of writers. These functions operate on linguistic elements, not on lines and characters. We describe how these functions can be implemented by making use of NLP methods and linguistic resources.