11.0271 super grammar checker?

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 21:45:56 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 271.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 21:05:06 +0100
From: Gudrun Oberprieler <oberprie@socsci.uct.ac.za>
Subject: 'super grammar checker'

[Please note: replies should please be sent directly to Doug Clerk at the
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg,
doug@gecko.biol.wits.ac.za, and not to the sender of this message. Thanks.

We have recorded lessons/lectures in various subjects at both school
and varsity level and hope to analyse the transcripts, which are
stored as Wordperfect files.

What I envisage is something that will work basically like a grammar
checker, i.e. it will be able to perform tests such as the Flesch
test for readability and to flag identifiable features of the text
such as long sentences or colloquialisms or jargon. (`Grammatik' will
do these and more). In addition we need the following which the
standard grammar checks don't seem to include:

1. We need to be able to annotate the text rather than to correct
it, on the basis of the analysis.

2. We need to be able to store the report of the analysis as a file
and to print it.

3. We need to be able to make comparisons between several reports,
perhaps via a spreadsheet or DBMS.

4. We need to be able to customise the list of features to be
flagged- for e.g. we are specifically interested in logical
connectives, which `grammatik' doesn't seem to flag other than under
the heading of `big words' (and then what about the short ones like
`as' or `and'?)

In short the package we are after would be some sort of
`super grammar checker'.

Two likely packages have been suggested to us, namely `Nudist' and
`Ethnograph' ; we need to know more about them in terms of both their
potential suitability and their availability. Also what about other
possibly more suitable packages?

We would be grateful for any help you can give and If you need more
details than these I will happily send them.

Doug Clerk
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,

Dr. Gudrun Oberprieler
University of Cape Town
Academic Development Programme
Private Bag, 7700 Rondebosch
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: ++27-21-650 3477 / 2251
Fax: ++27-21-650 3793
E-mail: oberprie@socsci.uct.ac.za

Humanist Discussion Group
Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>