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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 28, Number 4, Page 600 (1989)
Nontopical Issue
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An Arabic morphological system

by T. A. El-Sadany, M. A. Hashish
Nowadays, computers are used in every field in the Arab countries of the middle east. Software systems developed for the European languages are not convenient for the use of Arabic because of the nature of the language and its writing system. Problems arise when trying to use existing software systems, such as spell-checkers and business and office systems, with the Arabic language. These problems are attributable to the fact that the difference between Arabic and the European languages exists not only in character shapes and direction of writing, but also in language structure. In order to successfully use Arabic in software systems, we must, then, analyze the Arabic language word structure-at is, carry out a morphological analysis. Most of the written Arabic texts are nonvowelized, which may lead to ambiguity in meaning or mispronunciation. Moreover, vowelization cannot be avoided in many applications, such as speech synthesis by machines and educational books for children. A two-way Arabic morphological system (analysis/generation) capable of dealing with vowelized, semivowelized, and nonvowelized Arabic words was developed at the IBM Cairo Scientific Center. The system also has the ability to vowelize nonvowelized words. This system consists of three separate modules: computational lexicon, Arabic grammar model module, and analyzer/generator module. The grammar module contains, among others, morphophonemic and morphographemic rules formulated using the conventional generative grammar. Moreover, the developed system covers all of the Arabic language.
Related Subjects: General Applications