29.2875, Books: Clozing in on readability: Kleijn

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Thu Jul 12 10:58:42 EDT 2018

LINGUIST List: Vol-29-2875. Thu Jul 12 2018. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 29.2875, Books: Clozing in on readability: Kleijn

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Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:58:29
From: Karijn Hootsen [gw.uilots.lot at uu.nl]
Subject: Clozing in on readability: Kleijn


Title: Clozing in on readability 
Subtitle: How linguistic features affect and predict text comprehension and on-line
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series  

Publication Year: 2018 
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)

Book URL: https://www.lotpublications.nl/clozing-in-on-readability 

Author: Suzanne Kleijn

Paperback: ISBN:  9789460932779 Pages: 251 Price: Europe EURO 33.00


The first readability formulae were developed almost 100 years ago. Despite a
fair amount of critique, readability formulae have retained their overall
popularity. The main reason for this is that the need for objective measures
of readability has only increased. Fortunately, developments in computational
linguistics have opened up new possibilities to improve the old readability
formulae. In this dissertation current language technology is combined with
insights from readability research and discourse processing in an attempt to
build an empirically validated readability tool for Dutch secondary school
We investigate the relationship between linguistic features and two aspects of
readability: comprehension and processing ease. In addition, we use an
integrated methodological design in which we combine experimental with
correlational work to disentangle causal effects of linguistic features on
readability from correlational relationships. That is, we study readability
differences between texts and differences between stylistic variants of the
same text. In three separate experiments we change only the lexical
complexity, the syntactic complexity or the number of coherence markers within
texts to see whether these factors really affect readability. This way we are
able to provide a realistic (and sobering) view of the importance of these
factors and their potential for reducing the difficulty level of a given text,
without altering its content. Due to our design we are able to generalize our
results across a large number of texts and across adolescent readers differing
in reading proficiency. Hence, our findings are relevant both to the field of
discourse processing and practitioners aiming for readability improvement.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                     Computational Linguistics

Written In: English  (eng)

See this book announcement on our website: 


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