ECAI 2004 Conference Paper

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An Argumentative Approach to Assessing Natural Language Usage based on Web Linguistic Corpora

Carlos Chesñevar, Ana Maguitman

Although spelling and grammar checkers used in word-processing software have helped to significantly reduce the overall amount of burden for checking documents, the problem of judging the appropriateness of language usage in different contexts remains to a large extent still unsolved. This paper presents a novel approach to providing proactive assistance for language usage assessment. In the proposed framework, a critiquing system analyzes the textual information presented by the user as an input to a word-processing tool. Textual expressions from the user's document are extracted and used for querying a web search engine to gather information about their absolute and relative frequencies with respect to a Web-based linguistic corpus. Such frequencies are used to compute usage indices, which are good indicators of the suitability of an expression in a given context. The user's preferences consist of a number of (possibly defeasible) rules and facts which encode different aspects of adequate language usage, defining the acceptability of a given expression on the basis of the computed usage indices. A defeasible argumentation system determines if a given expression is acceptable by analyzing the user's preferences and establishing if there exists a warranted argument supporting this claim. Those expressions assessed as unsuitable are further inspected automatically by the system to help the user make the necessary repairs.

Keywords: natural language processing, defeasible argumentation, web-based systems, critiquing systems

Citation: Carlos Chesñevar, Ana Maguitman: An Argumentative Approach to Assessing Natural Language Usage based on Web Linguistic Corpora. In R.López de Mántaras and L.Saitta (eds.): ECAI2004, Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2004, pp.581-585.

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ECAI-2004 is organised by the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI) and hosted by the Universitat Politècnica de València on behalf of Asociación Española de Inteligencia Artificial (AEPIA) and Associació Catalana d'Intel-ligència Artificial (ACIA).