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Morphological parsing, in natural language processing, is the process of determining the morphemes from which a given word is constructed. It must be able to distinguish between orthographic rules and morphological rules. For example, the word 'foxes' can be decomposed into 'fox' (the stem), and 'es' (a suffix indicating plurality).
The generally accepted approach to morphological parsing is through the use of a finite state transducer (FST), which inputs words and outputs their stem and modifiers. The FST is initially created through algorithmic parsing of some word source, such as a dictionary, complete with modifier markups.
Another approach is through the use of an indexed lookup method, which uses a constructed radix tree. This is not an often-taken route because it breaks down for morphologically complex languages.
Orthographic rules are general rules used when breaking a word into its stem and modifiers. An example would be: singular English words ending with -y, when pluralized, end with -ies. Contrast this to Morphological rules which contain corner cases to these general rules. Both of these types of rules are used to construct systems that can do morphological parsing.
Morphological rules are exceptions to the orthographic rules used when breaking a word into its stem and modifiers. An example would be while one normally pluralizes a word in English by adding 's' as a suffix, the word 'fish' does not change when pluralized. Contrast this to orthographic rules which contain general rules. Both of these types of rules are used to construct systems that can do morphological parsing.
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