Compounding is a very productive process in German to form complex nouns and adjectives which represent about 7% of the words of a newspaper text. Unlike English, German compounds do not contain spaces or other word boundaries, and the automatic analysis is often ambiguous. A (non-weighted) finite-state morphological analyzer provides all potential segmentations for a compound without any filtering or prioritization of the results.

The paper presents an experiment in analyzing German compounds with the Xerox Weighted Finite-State Compiler (wfsc). The model is based on weights for compound segments and gives priority (a) to compounds with the minimal number of segments and (b) to compound segments with the highest frequency in a training list. The results with this rather simple model will show the advantage of using weighted finite-state transducers over simple FSTs.


Regular Expression Word Boundary Human Reader Feminine Noun Masculine Noun 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Schiller
    • 1
  1. 1.Xerox Research Centre EuropeMeylanFrance

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