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hspell - Hebrew spellchecker
hspell [ -acDhHilnsvV ] [file...]
hspell tries to find incorrectly spelled Hebrew words in its input files.
Like the traditional Unix spell(1), hspell outputs the sorted list of incorrect words, and
does not have a more friendly interface for making corrections for you. However, unlike
spell(1), hspell can suggest possible corrections for some spelling errors. Such
suggestions can be enabled with the -c (correct) and -n (notes) options.
Hspell currently expects ISO-8859-8-encoded input files. Non-Hebrew characters in the
input files are ignored, allowing the easy spellchecking of Hebrew-English texts, as well
as HTML or TeX files. If files using a different encoding (e.g., UTF-8) are to be
checked, they must be converted first to ISO-8859-8 (e.g., see iconv(1), recode(1)).
The output will also be in ISO-8859-8 encoding, in so-called "logical order", so it is
normally useful to pipe it to bidiv(1) before viewing, as in:
hspell -c filename | bidiv | less
If no input file is given, hspell reads from its standard input.
-v If the -v option is given, hspell prints emacs-oriented version information and
-vv Repetition of the -v option causes hspell to also show some information on which
optional features were enabled at compile time.
-V With the -V option, hspell prints true and human-oriented version information and
-c If the -c option is given, hspell will suggest corrections for misspelled words,
whenever it can find such corrections. The correction mechanism in this release is
especially good at finding corrections for incorrect niqqud-less spellings, with
missing or extra 'immot-qri'a.
-n The -n option will give some longer "notes" about certain spelling errors,
explaining why these are indeed errors (or in what cases using this word is in fact
correct). It is recommend to combine the two options, -cn for maximal correction
help from hspell.
-l The -l (linguistic information) option will explain for each correct word why it
was recognized (show the basic noun, verb, etc., that this inflection relates to,
and its tense, gender, associated Kinnuy, or other relevant information)
If Hspell was built without morphological analysis support, this option will only
show the correct splits of the given word into prefix + word, as the full
information incurs a 4-fold increase in the installation size.
Giving the -c option in addition to -l results in special behavior. In that case
hspell suggests "corrections" to every word (regardless if they are in the
dictionary or not), and shows the linguistic information on all those words. This
can be useful for a reader application, which may also want to be able to
understand misspellings and their possible meanings.
-s Normally, the words deemed spelling mistakes are shown in alphabetical order. The
-s option orders them by severity, i.e., the errors that most frequently appear in
the document are shown first. This option is most useful for people helping to
build hspell's word list, and are looking for common correct words that hspell does
not know yet.
-a With the -a option, hspell tries to emulate (as little as possible of) ispell's
pipe interface. This allows Lyx, Emacs, Geresh and KDE to use hspell as an external
-i This option only has any effect when used together with the -a option. Normally,
hspell -a only checks the spelling of Hebrew words. If the given file also contains
non-Hebrew words (such as English words), these are simply ignored. Adding the -i
option tells hspell to pass the non-Hebrew words to ispell(1), and return its
answer as an answer from hspell. This allows conveniently spell-checking mixed
Running hspell with the program name hspell-i also enables the -i option. This is a
useful trick when an application expects just the name of a spell-checking program,
and adds only the "-a" option (without giving the user an option to also add "-i").
The multispell script supplied with hspell serves a similar purpose, with more
control over encodings and which spell-checker to run for non-Hebrew words.
-H By default, Hspell does not allow the He Ha-sh'ela prefix. This is because this
prefix is not normally used in modern Hebrew, and generates many false-negatives
(errors, like He followed by a possessed noun, are thought to be correct). The -H
option nevertheless tells Hspell to allow this prefix.
Load the word lists from the given base pathname, rather than from the compiled-in
default path. This is mostly used for testing Hspell, when the dictionaries have
been compiled in the current directory and hspell is run as "hspell -Dhebrew.wgz".
-d, -B, -m, -T, -C, -S, -P, -p, -w, and -W
These options are passed to hspell by lyx or other applications, thinking they are
talking to ispell. These options are cordially ignored.
Hspell was designed to be 100% and strictly compliant with the official niqqud-less
spelling rules ("Ha-ktiv Khasar Ha-niqqud", colloquially known as "Ktiv Male") published
by the Academy of the Hebrew Language.
This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on your viewpoint. It's an
advantage because it encourages a correct and consistent spelling style throughout your
writing. It is a disadvantage, because a few of the Academia's official spelling decisions
are relatively unknown to the general public.
Users of Hspell (and all Hebrew writers, for that matter) are encouraged to read the
Academia's official niqqud-less spelling rules (which are printed at the end of most
modern Hebrew dictionaries, and an abridged version is available in http://hebrew-
academy.huji.ac.il/decision4.html). Users are also encouraged to refer to Hebrew
dictionaries which use the niqqud-less spelling (such as Millon Ha-hove, Rav Milim, and
the new Even Shoshan).
Hspell's distribution (and Web site) also include a document, niqqudless.odt, which
explains Hspell's spelling standard in detail (in Hebrew). It explains both the overall
principles, and why specific words are spelled the way they are.
A future release may include an option for alternative spelling standards.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The hspell program itself is mostly a simple (but efficient) program that checks input
words against a long list of valid words. The real "brains" behind it are the word lists
(dictionary) provided by the Hspell project.
In order for this dictionary to be completely free of other people's copyright
restrictions, the Hspell project is a clean-room implementation, not based on pre-existing
word lists or spell checkers, or on copying of printed dictionaries.
The word list is also not based on automatic scanning of available Hebrew documents (such
as online newspapers), because there is no way to guarantee that such a list will be
correct, complete, or consistent in its spelling standard.
Instead, our idea was to write programs which know how to correctly inflect Hebrew nouns
and conjugate Hebrew verbs. The input to these programs is a list of noun stems and verb
roots, plus hints needed for the correct inflection when these cannot be figured out
automatically. Most of the effort that went into the Hspell project went into building
these input files. Then, "word list generators" (written in Perl, and are also part of
the Hspell project) create the complete inflected word list that will be used by the
spellchecking program, hspell. This generation process is only done once, when building
hspell from source.
These lists, before and after inflection, may be useful for much more than spellchecking.
Morphological analysis (which hspell provides with the -l option) is one example. For more
ideas, see Hspell project's Web site, at http://ivrix.org.il/projects/spell-checker.
Use hspell online using onworks.net services