Syntactic Simplification and Text Cohesion

Siddharthan, Advaith (2006). Syntactic Simplification and Text Cohesion. Research on Language and Computation, 4(1) pp. 77–109.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11168-006-9011-1

Abstract

Syntactic simplification is the process of reducing the grammatical complexity of a text, while retaining its information content and meaning. The aim of syntactic simplification is to make text easier to comprehend for human readers, or process by programs. In this paper, we formalise the interactions that take place between syntax and discourse during the simplification process. This is important because the usefulness of syntactic simplification in making a text accessible to a wider audience can be undermined if the rewritten text lacks cohesion. We describe how various generation issues like sentence ordering, cue-word selection, referring-expression generation, determiner choice and pronominal use can be resolved so as to preserve conjunctive and anaphoric cohesive relations during syntactic simplification and present the results of an evaluation of our syntactic simplification system.

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