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Linguistic Tools

A variety of natural language processing tools for 9 European languages.

Morphological Analysis

Morphological analysis is the basic enabling technology for many kinds of text processing. Recognition of word forms is the first step towards part-of-speech tagging, parsing, translation, and other high-level applications. The two central problems in morphology are:

  • Word Formation
    Words are typically composed of smaller units of meaning, called morphemes. The morphemes that make up a word must be combined in a certain order: piti-less-ness is a word of English but *piti-ness-less is not.
  • Morphological and Orthographical Alternation
    The shape of a morpheme often depends on the environment: pity is realized as piti in the context of less, die as dy in dying.

Content Analysis work on morphology is based on the fundamental insight that both problems can be solved with the help of finite automata:

  1. the allowed combinations of morphemes can be encoded as a finite-state network;
  2. the rules that determine the form of each morpheme can be implemented as finite-state transducers;
  3. the lexicon network and the rule transducers can be composed into a single automaton, a lexical transducer, that contains all the morphological information about the language including derivation, inflection, and compounding.

Lexical transducers have many advantages. They are bidirectional (the same network for both analysis and generation), fast (thousands of words per second), and compact.

Comprehensive morphological analyzers are available for Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Russian.

Other analyzers exist for Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.


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