ESL Grammar Checker Available

Anne Sing annes at HTDC.ORG
Thu Feb 12 05:27:19 UTC 1998

Japan Information Processing (JIP) or Nihon Denshi Keisan of Tokyo, Japan
has just made their "English Sentence Enhancer" available for free over
the Japanese internet.  This grammar checker was designed and created
by Ergo Linguistic Technologies at their request.  The current on-line
version represents six months of an eighteen month development cycle.

The Japanese version can be downloaded from their web site at  Japanese Windows 95 is required for
that version of the program and a Japanese Browser is required for the
download though their web site can be viewed in English.

An English version of the same product can be downloaded from  Currently, there are two downloads
available from this site:  The "BracketDoctor" announced two weeks
ago, and now the "English Sentence Enhancer" the grammar checker
created for Japan Information Processing.  Both the BracketDoctor and
the English Sentence Enhancer are Windows 95 programs.

It is important to remember that this grammar checker represents
just six months of an 18 month development.  However, even at this
early stage it is able to provide functionality that is totally
unique, and for that reason should be of interest to those in the
NLP community as well as those in ESL, linguistics, and Machine
Translation. For example, it can transform actives to passives,
and passives to actives, yes/no and information questions to
statements and statements to yes/no and information questions, and
it can also change tense.  There is also a function that will judge
the acceptability of students sentences, and in some cases will
provide suggestions for corrrections.  The target audience is
Junior High School English students in Japan and so the vocabulary
and structures that are included reflect that level. A beginning
or low intermediate ESL textbook might be the best source of
test sentences.

The full 18 month development will include the ability to change
noun/adjective/adverb clauses into statements and participial phrases
and vice versa as well as the detection of and transformation of many
other more detailed grammatical functions.  For those of you who are
unware of the state of the art in grammar checkers, the ability to
transform one structure into another is almost entirely non-existent
outside of this product.  Of course, the interface can be easily
localized to other languages and the unique functions offered in this
product can be easily added to other products.  Also, these grammar
functions can be easily added to existing grammar checkers for native
speakers.  In addition, parsers with these abilities can be developed
for other languages.

Phil Bralich

For further information:

Philip A. Bralich, President
Ergo Linguistic Technologies
2800 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 175
Honolulu, HI 96822

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