Paraphrasing for style

Wei Xu, Alan Ritter, William B. Dolan, Ralph Grishman, Colin Cherry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We present initial investigation into the task of paraphrasing language while targeting a particular writing style. The plays of William Shakespeare and their modern translations are used as a testbed for evaluating paraphrase systems targeting a specific style of writing. We show that even with a relatively small amount of parallel training data, it is possible to learn paraphrase models which capture stylistic phenomena, and these models outperform baselines based on dictionaries and out-of-domain parallel text. In addition we present an initial investigation into automatic evaluation metrics for paraphrasing writing style. To the best of our knowledge this is the first work to investigate the task of paraphrasing text with the goal of targeting a specific style of writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2012
Event24th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 2012 - Mumbai, India
Duration: Dec 8 2012Dec 15 2012


Other24th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 2012


  • Paraphrase
  • Writing Style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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