On the performance of modern digital grammar checkers for native and second language learners
A study of gender marking in French
In this study we conducted an experiment aiming to compare the performance of language learners and digital grammar checkers at supplying gender marking in French. A set of test items exhibiting typical gender marking configurations was submitted to three grammar checkers for French (Antidote, Scribens and BonPatron). The outcomes were compared to those of native speakers and second language learners of French at a B1 level.
The results revealed that only Antidote and Scribens outperformed both native speakers and second language learners of French in adjective-noun and fronted noun-past participle agreement constructions. An opposite pattern, however, appeared for clitic-past participle constructions for which native speakers outperformed Antidote and Scribens.
We thus conclude that from the three grammar checkers under investigation, Antidote and Scribens might be effective to improve the native speakers’ and second language learners’ awareness of gender marking errors, but only in adjective-noun and fronted noun-past participle agreement constructions.
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