The controlled natural language of Randall Munroe’s Thing Explainer

Tobias Kuhn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

It is rare that texts or entire books written in a Controlled Natural Language (CNL) become very popular, but exactly this has happened with a book that has been published last year. Randall Munroe’s Thing Explainer uses only the 1'000 most often used words of the English language together with drawn pictures to explain complicated things such as nuclear reactors, jet engines, the solar system, and dishwashers. This restricted language is a very interesting new case for the CNL community. I describe here its place in the context of existing approaches on Controlled Natural Languages, and I provide a first analysis from a scientific perspective, covering the word production rules and word distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationControlled Natural Language - 5th International Workshop, CNL 2016, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer/Verlag
Pages102-110
Number of pages9
Volume9767
ISBN (Print)9783319414973
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event5th International Workshop on Controlled Natural Language, CNL 2016 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Jul 201627 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume9767
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349

Conference

Conference5th International Workshop on Controlled Natural Language, CNL 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityAberdeen
Period25/07/1627/07/16

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The controlled natural language of Randall Munroe’s Thing Explainer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this