Is a Morphologically Complex Language Really that Complex in Full-Text Retrieval?

  • Kimmo Kettunen
  • Eija Airio
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4139)


In this paper we show that keyword variation of a morphologically complex language, Finnish, can be handled effectively for IR purposes by generating only the textually most frequent forms of the keyword. Theoretically Finnish nouns have about 2,000 different forms, but occurrences of most of the forms are rare. Corpus statistics showed that about 84 – 88 per cent of the occurrences of inflected noun forms are forms of only six cases out of the 14 possible. This number – maximally 2*6 – of keyword’s variant forms makes it feasible to try them all in a search. IR results of the frequent keyword form variation coverage were tested with three to twelve keyword variant forms in two test collections, TUTK and CLEF 2003’s Finnish material. The results show that the frequent keyword form generation method competes well with the gold standard, lemmatization, with nine and twelve variant keyword forms.


Average Precision Word Form Case Form Complex Language Inflectional Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimmo Kettunen
    • 1
  • Eija Airio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of TampereFinland

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