Title: Ascertaining and graphically representing the logical structure of Japanese essays

Authors: Tsunenori Ishioka

Addresses: The National Centre for University Entrance Examinations, 2-19-23 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8501, Japan

Abstract: To more accurately assess the logical structure of Japanese essays, we have devised a technique that uses end-of-sentence modality and demonstrative pronouns referencing earlier paragraphs as indicators of structure in addition to the conjunctive expressions that have hitherto often been used. This technique will yield better results because conjunctive expressions are intentionally avoided in Japanese. We applied this method to the editorial and commentary (Yoroku) columns of the Mainichi Daily newspaper and used it to represent the structure and development of the arguments made by these articles in the form of constellation diagrams, which are used in the field of statistics. We found that the method that does not rely on conjunctive expressions is useful, and the graphical representations are helpful for comprehending the overall flow of the discussion and ascertaining temporal changes in the logical structure of a written essay.

Keywords: logical structures; Japanese; language; Japan; written essays; automated scoring systems; essay scoring systems; graphical representations; constellation diagrams; information compilation; modality; natural language processing; end-of-sentence; demonstrative pronouns; paragraphs; grammar; conjunctive expressions; structural indicators; newspapers; editorials; journalist commentaries; Yoroku; Mainichi Daily News; argument structures; statistics; discussions; temporal changes; visualisation; continuing education; life-long learning; automatic free-text evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2011.042788

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2011 Vol.21 No.4, pp.276 - 288

Published online: 04 Oct 2011 *

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