Disambiguating Confusion Sets as an Aid for Dyslexic Spelling

Steinunn Rut Friðriksdóttir, Anton Karl Ingason


Abstract
Spell checkers and other proofreading software are crucial tools for people with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Most spell checkers automatically detect spelling mistakes by looking up individual words and seeing if they exist in the vocabulary. However, one of the biggest challenges of automatic spelling correction is how to deal with real-word errors, i.e. spelling mistakes which lead to a real but unintended word, such as when then is written in place of than. These errors account for 20% of all spelling mistakes made by people with dyslexia. As both words exist in the vocabulary, a simple dictionary lookup will not detect the mistake. The only way to disambiguate which word was actually intended is to look at the context in which the word appears. This problem is particularly apparent in languages with rich morphology where there is often minimal orthographic difference between grammatical items. In this paper, we present our novel confusion set corpus for Icelandic and discuss how it could be used for context-sensitive spelling correction. We have collected word pairs from seven different categories, chosen for their homophonous properties, along with sentence examples and frequency information from said pairs. We present a small-scale machine learning experiment using a decision tree binary classification which results range from 73% to 86% average accuracy with 10-fold cross validation. While not intended as a finalized result, the method shows potential and will be improved in future research.
Anthology ID:
2020.readi-1.1
Volume:
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Tools and Resources to Empower People with REAding DIfficulties (READI)
Month:
May
Year:
2020
Address:
Marseille, France
Venues:
LREC | READI | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association
Note:
Pages:
1–5
Language:
English
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/2020.readi-1.1
DOI:
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/2020.readi-1.1.pdf