CompLex: A New Corpus for Lexical Complexity Prediction from Likert Scale Data

16 Mar 2020  ·  Matthew Shardlow, Michael Cooper, Marcos Zampieri ·

Predicting which words are considered hard to understand for a given target population is a vital step in many NLP applications such as text simplification. This task is commonly referred to as Complex Word Identification (CWI). With a few exceptions, previous studies have approached the task as a binary classification task in which systems predict a complexity value (complex vs. non-complex) for a set of target words in a text. This choice is motivated by the fact that all CWI datasets compiled so far have been annotated using a binary annotation scheme. Our paper addresses this limitation by presenting the first English dataset for continuous lexical complexity prediction. We use a 5-point Likert scale scheme to annotate complex words in texts from three sources/domains: the Bible, Europarl, and biomedical texts. This resulted in a corpus of 9,476 sentences each annotated by around 7 annotators.

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