Systematic review of spell-checkers for highly inflectional languages


Performance of any word processor, search engine, social media relies heavily on the spell-checkers, grammar checkers etc. Spell-checkers are the language tools which break down the text to check the spelling errors. It cautions the user if there is any unintentional misspelling occurred in the text. In the area of spell-checking, we still lack an exhaustive study that covers aspects like strengths, limitations, handled errors, performance along with the evaluation parameters. In literature, spell-checkers for different languages are available and each one possesses similar characteristics however, have a different design. This study follows the guidelines of systematic literature review and applies it to the field of spell-checking. The steps of the systematic review are employed on 130 selected articles published in leading journals, premier conferences and workshops in the field of spell-checking of different inflectional languages. These steps include framing of the research questions, selection of research articles, inclusion/exclusion criteria and the extraction of the relevant information from the selected research articles. The literature about spell-checking is divided into key sub-areas according to the languages. Each sub-area is then described based on the technique being used. In this study, various articles are analyzed on certain criteria to reach the conclusion. This article suggests how the techniques from the other domains like morphology, part-of-speech, chunking, stemming, hash-table etc. can be used in development of spell-checkers. It also highlights the major challenges faced by researchers along with the future area of research in the field of spell-checking.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3



Finite state machine


Dictionary lookup method


Morphological analysis


Edit distance


Minimum edit distance


Unicode splitting


Character-based longest short term memory


Soundex method


Levenstein edit distance


Confusion set


Reverse minimum edit distance


Direct dictionary lookup method


Edit distance method


Phonetic encoding method


Finite state representation


State table method


Finite state automata


Partition around medoid clustering


Double metaphone encoding


Word frequency


Sound and shape similarity


Reverse edit distance method


Hash table


Tree-based algorithm


Parts of speech


Hidden Markov model


Graphical user interface


Finite state transition


Unknown word handling


Unknown proper noun handling


Parts of speech


Application programming interface


Constituent word


Memory based language model


Finite state transition model


Dictionary approach


Canti check


Crowd sourcing


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The authors thank the reviewers for their insightful comments. The authors would also like to thank Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of INDIA, for providing fellowship under Grant Number: PhD-MLA-4 (69)/2015-16 (Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme for Electronics and IT) to pursue Ph.D. work.

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Singh, S., Singh, S. Systematic review of spell-checkers for highly inflectional languages. Artif Intell Rev 53, 4051–4092 (2020).

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  • Spelling
  • Spell-check
  • Non-word errors
  • Real-word errors
  • Dictionary lookup
  • Edit-distance
  • Recurrent neural network (RNN)