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ERNESTA: A Sentence Simplification Tool for Children’s Stories in Italian

  • Gianni Barlacchi
  • Sara Tonelli
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7817)

Abstract

We present ERNESTA (Enhanced Readability through a Novel Event-based Simplification Tool), the first sentence simplification system for Italian, specifically developed to improve the comprehension of factual events in stories for children with low reading skills. The system performs two basic actions: First, it analyzes a text by resolving anaphoras (including null pronouns), so as to make all implicit information explicit. Then, it simplifies the story sentence by sentence at syntactic level, by producing simple statements in the present tense on the factual events described in the story. Our simplification strategy is driven by psycholinguistic principles and targets children aged 7 - 11 with text comprehension difficulties. The evaluation shows that our approach achieves promising results. Furthermore, ERNESTA could be exploited in different tasks, for instance in the generation of educational games and reading comprehension tests.

Keywords

Sentence simplification Anaphora Resolution Children Stories Italian Language 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Barlacchi
    • 1
  • Sara Tonelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Information Engineering DepartmentUniversità di SienaItaly
  2. 2.Fondazione Bruno KesslerPovoItaly

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