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Identifying Abstract and Concrete Words in French to Better Address Reading Difficulties

Abstract : Literature in psycholinguistics and neurosciences has showed that abstract and concrete concepts are perceived differently by our brain, and that the abstractness of a word can cause difficulties in reading. In order to integrate this parameter into an automatic text simplification (ATS) system for French readers, an annotated list with 7,898 abstract and concrete nouns has been semi-automatically developed. Our aim was to obtain abstract and concrete nouns from an initial manually annotated short list by using two distributional approaches: nearest neighbors and syntactic co-occurrences. The results of this experience have enabled to shed light on the different behaviors of concrete and abstract nouns in context. Besides, the final list, a resource per se in French available on demand, provides a valuable contribution since annotated resources based on cognitive variables such as concreteness or abstractness are scarce and very difficult to obtain. In future work, the list will be enlarged and integrated into an existing lexicon with ranked synonyms for the identification of complex words in text simplification applications.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02562128
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Submitted on : Monday, May 4, 2020 - 2:22:54 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 3:06:50 AM

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Daria Goriachun, Núria Gala. Identifying Abstract and Concrete Words in French to Better Address Reading Difficulties. Workshop Tools and Resources to Empower People with Reading Difficulties (READI) at International conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2020), May 2020, Marseille, France. pp.33-40. ⟨hal-02562128⟩

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