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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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10.6.5 Ispell Dictionary

The Ispell dictionary template supports morphological dictionaries, which can normalize many different linguistic forms of a word into the same lexeme. For example, an English Ispell dictionary can match all declensions and conjugations of the search term bank, e.g., banking, banked, banks, banks', and bank's.

The standard PostgreSQL distribution does not include any Ispell configuration files. Dictionaries for a large number of languages are available from Ispell. Also, some more modern dictionary file formats are supported---MySpell (OO < 2.0.1) and Hunspell (OO >= 2.0.2). A large list of dictionaries is available on the OpenOffice Wiki.

To create an Ispell dictionary, use the built-in ispell template and specify several parameters:

    TEMPLATE = ispell,
    DictFile = english,
    AffFile = english,
    StopWords = english

Here, DictFile, AffFile, and StopWords specify the base names of the dictionary, affixes, and stop-words files. The stop-words file has the same format explained above for the simple dictionary type. The format of the other files is not specified here but is available from the above-mentioned web sites.

Ispell dictionaries usually recognize a limited set of words, so they should be followed by another broader dictionary; for example, a Snowball dictionary, which recognizes everything.

Ispell dictionaries support splitting compound words; a useful feature. Notice that the affix file should specify a special flag using the compoundwords controlled statement that marks dictionary words that can participate in compound formation:

compoundwords  controlled z

Here are some examples for the Norwegian language:

SELECT ts_lexize('norwegian_ispell',
SELECT ts_lexize('norwegian_ispell', 'sjokoladefabrikk');

Note: MySpell does not support compound words. Hunspell has sophisticated support for compound words. At present, PostgreSQL implements only the basic compound word operations of Hunspell.

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