LexR: a Preliminary Readability Metric for Latin


Studies have found a strong correlation between vocabulary knowledge and L2 reading comprehension. This preliminary study of the readability of Latin texts considers how common measures of lexical complexity (word length, word frequency, lexical sophistication, lexical density, and lexical variation) can inform instructors about what texts have the least (and most) lexical complexity. By defining several key measurements of Latin lexical complexity, we establish a provisional account of the lexical difficulty of some familiar Latin texts that are frequently taught in elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels, and propose LexR, a single, informative, integrated score that provides a sense of the comparative lexical complexity of Latin texts. The authors view LexR as a useful preliminary metric, a point of comparison based on traditional metrics that can foster additional readability studies in the short-term and provide a foundation towards more sophisticated and insightful machine learning techniques for readability scoring for Latin and other historical languages with sizable corpora. The presentation will conclude with an overview of the in-development Bridge Readability Apps, designed for use with any language for which Natural Language Processing resources exist, creating the potential of use cases far beyond its initial target audiences at schools, colleges, and universities around the world.

5 Sep, 2023 17:00
Lancaster, England
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Bret Mulligan
Bret Mulligan
Professor of Classics

Latin Professor.

Hugh Paterson III
Hugh Paterson III
Collaborative Scholar

I specialize in bespoke research at the intersection of Linguistics, Law, Languages, and Technology; specifically utility and life-cycle management for information products in these spaces.