Stenger, Irina; Avgustinova, Tania; Marti, Roland

Levenshtein distance and word adaptation surprisal as methods of measuring mutual intelligibility in reading comprehension of Slavic languages

Computational Linguistics and Intellectual Technologies: International Conference "Dialogue 2017" , 1, pp. 304-317, 2017.

In this article we validate two measuring methods: Levenshtein distance and word adaptation surprisal as potential predictors of success in reading intercomprehension. We investigate to what extent orthographic distances between Russian and other East Slavic (Ukrainian, Belarusian) and South Slavic (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian) languages found by means of the Levenshtein algorithm and word adaptation surprisal correlate with comprehension of unknown Slavic languages on the basis of data obtained from Russian native speakers in online free translation task experiments. We try to find an answer to the following question: Can measuring methods such as Levenshtein distance and word adaptation surprisal be considered as a good approximation of orthographic intelligibility of unknown Slavic languages using the Cyrillic script?