Turkish Lexicon Expansion By Using Finite State Automata
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Turkish is an agglutinative language with rich morphology. A Turkish verb can have thousands of different word forms. Therefore, sparsity becomes an issue in many Turkish natural language processing (NLP) applications. This article presents a model for Turkish lexicon expansion. We aimed to expand the lexicon by using a morphological segmentation system by reversing the segmentation task into a generation task. Our model uses finite-state automata (FSA) to incorporate orthographic features and morphotactic rules. We extracted orthographic features by capturing phonological operations that are applied to words whenever a suffix is added. Each FSA state corresponds to either a stem or a suffix category. Stems are clustered based on their parts-of-speech (i.e. noun, verb, or adjective) and suffixes are clustered based on their allomorphic features. We generated approximately 1 million word forms by using only a few thousand Turkish stems with an accuracy of 82.36%, which will help to reduce the out-of-vocabulary size in other NLP applications. Although our experiments are performed on Turkish language, the same model is also applicable to other agglutinative languages such as Hungarian and Finnish.