Fine-grained text simplification in French: steps towards a better grammaticality


  • Anaïs Koptient CNRS, Univ.Lille
  • Natalia Grabar CNRS, Univ. Lille



The question on easy access to medical and health information by patients has attracted attention of the society and researchers. It has been indeed observed that poor understanding of medical and health information by patients may be harmful for their healthcare process. We assume that simplification and adaptation of technical documents may provide a solution to this situation. While the dedicated guidelines to the simplification summarize different kinds of criteria to consider, actually, it is still difficult to respect all these criteria. Usually, automatic systems for text simplification address some lexical or syntactic transformations. Besides, little work is done on simplification and adaptation of medical and health texts. We propose to combine lexical and syntactic simplification within a rulebased system, and to make it more fine-grained through additional processing. More particularly, we consider transformation of passive sentences into active sentences, and we control the grammatical concordance within sentences. We work with technical medical documents in French. The results are mainly evaluated according to the three measures specifically dedicated to the simplification: semantics, simplicity and grammaticality.