A System for Automatic English Text Expansion

Silvia García-Méndez (Corresponding Author), Milagros Fernández-Gavilanes, Enrique Costa-Montenegro, Jonathan Juncal-Martínez, Francisco J. González-Castaño, Ehud Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


We present an automatic text expansion system to generate English sentences, which performs automatic Natural Language Generation (NLG) by combining linguistic rules with statistical approaches. Here, “automatic” means that the system can generate coherent and correct sentences from a minimum set of words. From its inception, the design is modular and adaptable to other languages. This adaptability is one of its greatest advantages. For English, we have created the highly precise aLexiE lexicon with wide coverage, which represents a contribution on its own. We have evaluated the resulting NLG library in an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) proof of concept, both directly (by regenerating corpus sentences) and manually (from annotations) using a popular corpus in the NLG field. We performed a second analysis by comparing the quality of text expansion in English to Spanish, using an ad-hoc Spanish-English parallel corpus. The system might also be applied to other domains such as report and news generation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123320-123333
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the Mineco, Spain, under Grant TEC2016-76465-C2-2-R, in part by the Xunta de Galicia, Spain, under Grant GRC-2018/53 and Grant ED341D R2016/012, and in part by the University of Vigo Travel Grant to visit the CLAN Research Group, University of Aberdeen, U.K.


  • Grammar
  • Linguistics
  • Transforms
  • Licenses
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • Syntactics
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Natural Language Generation
  • sentence planning
  • surface realiser
  • text expansion


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