William Van Belle
Connectors : a Substantial Part of the
The CONST-program is a computational writing tool for commercial and business communication in Dutch. It enables the user to consult and to integrate automated information during the processes of text-writing. The information is stored in two interactive modules : 1) a tactical component containing a) a CONST-internal lexicon containing information about 1000 connectors or discourse structuring items, b) an adapted part of the electronic version of the 'Van Dale' dictionary (1992), providing more (explanatory) information about the connectors, c) an adapted part of the electronic version of the 'connectors'-part of the Dutch Grammar Algemene Nederlandse Spraakkunst (1984) and d) a technical set providing information about the structuring of footnotes, quotations, etc. and 2) a strategic component generating stratified linguistic text structures and their corresponding tree diagrams. This strategic component provides e.g. a profound elaboration of the chosen writing strategy including a range of complex text-act verbs (e.g. 'describe, clarify') and a set of rhetorical relations (e.g. 'purpose, conclusion'). Through these relations a link can be established between the strategic and the tactical components, realised by means of the different types of connectors.
The CONST-program enables the user to consult and to integrate automated information during the processes of text-structuring and text-formulation . The information is stored in two interactive modules, namely 1) the strategic module containing algorithmic procedures generating stratified text structures and their corresponding tree diagrams, and 2) the tactical module containing three types of lexicons, namely a) a CONST-specific text-linguistic lexicon, b) an adapted electronic version of the 'connectors'-part of the explanatory dictionary 'Van Dale' (Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal, 1992 (VD12)), c) an adapted electronic version of the 'connectors'-part of the syntactic lexicon or reference grammar Algemene Nederlandse Spraakkunst (ANS). Briefly, the CONST-program is the realisation of the automated interaction between 1) an existing word-processor, 2) branching procedures by means ofwhich a text structure and ipso facto a structured text can be built up, 3) the visualised representation of the chosen text structure, and 4) different types of lexicons providing information concerning the formulation of and functional cohesion within a structured text.