Morphosyntactic Restriction

The Morphosyntactic Restriction function helps limit term checking to only certain inflected forms. The Morphosyntactic Restriction function can also be configured to perform a strict check for terms which appear in sentences as a certain part of speech.

A check for terms with a strict Morphosyntactic Restriction has higher precision, but has lower recall.

Recall measures the completeness of flagged terms. It measures how well the Acrolinx engine performs in finding all the relevant terms.

For example, recall is:

  • 100% when every relevant term in the document is found.
  • 50% when only half the relevant terms in the document are found.

Precision measures the correctness of flagged terms. It measures how well the Acrolinx engine performs in finding correct terms.

For example, precision is:

  • 100% when every flagged term is a correct alarm.
  • 50% when only half the flagged terms are correct alarms, and the rest are non-issues.

You can view the Morphosyntactic Restriction in the Linguistic Information panel of the Term Page.

Use the strict Morphosyntactic Restriction with caution, as it’s only suitable for specific types of terminology. When special controlled languages such as ASD Simplified Technical English are used, only a certain part of speech is deprecated. In such cases, use a strict Morphosyntactic Restriction.

Example of a check with a standard morphosyntactic restriction:

Suppose that your department has the following style guideline:

"Don’t use the term use as a noun."

You could use the standard morphosyntactic restriction to perform a check for possible forms of the noun use, regardless of how the word is used in the sentence. When you run Acrolinx, the following issues are highlighted:

There are several uses for the software. (noun)

You can use the mouse to drag the item. (verb)

The most common use for the feature. (noun)

The administrator uses the advanced function. (verb)

This standard morphosyntactic restriction has high recall. Decide which occurrences of use are incorrect.

Example of a check with a strict morphosyntactic restriction:

On the Advanced Information tab, you can define a strict morphosyntactic restriction for the term.

When you run Acrolinx, only the noun forms of the term use should be highlighted:

There are several uses for the software. (noun)

The most common use for the feature. (noun)

This strict morphosyntactic restriction has a lower recall than the standard restriction. However, it’s possible that you can have:

  • False negatives (missing alarms): occurrences aren’t highlighted, even though they should be highlighted.

    In the strict check example, a false negative occurs if one of the noun forms isn’t highlighted.

  • False positives (non-issues): occurrences are highlighted, even though they should not be highlighted.

    Non-issues can occur when the linguistic analysis engine attributes an incorrect part of speech to a word within a sentence.

    In the strict check example, if verb forms of use are also highlighted, they’re non-issues:

    The administrator uses the advanced function. (verb)

    You can use the mouse to drag the item. (verb)

Configuring a Morphosyntactic Restriction

The Advanced Term Edit Page enables you to configure an enhancement to the Morphosyntactic Restriction setting which increases the strictness of the Acrolinx when checking for inflections.

To configure a strict morphosyntactic restriction for a term:

  1. Open the Term Edit Page for the desired term.
  2. Click the Advanced Edit tab:
  3. Set the term variant rule Strict morphosyntactic restriction to on 
    .

    The Strict Morphosyntactic Restriction Setting

  4. Click Save.
Acrolinx recommends the standard morphosyntactic restriction type. If you use a strict morphosyntactic restriction, non-issues can result.