What is linguistically supported revising and editing?
Editors and word processors offer several support functions for writing and editing texts. Besides the ability to insert and delete single characters, there is cut & paste, search & replace, and you can mark ranges of characters for copying or deleting them. These are the core functions of editors.
Programmers' text editors provide programmer with additional aids specific to the programming language. You have syntax highlighting, the code is indented according to certain structures, or functions for navigating and editing large-scale structures. These functions make use of syntactic structures of the programming language.
When creating natural-language texts, however, word processors don't support authors with functions based on syntactic structures of the language, there is not even syntax highlighting. Writer have to make do with the core functions only. However, writing texts in a natural language is not just writing characters, it is writing, arranging, and playing with words, phrases, and sentences.
We claim that:
- Using tools and functions operating on the same level writers think and talk about texts makes revising and editing easier and avoids typical mistakes.
- These functions need linguistic knowledge or language awareness.
- Useful functions can be implemented even with small linguistic resources.