Developing an Open source spell checker for Gikuyu
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In this paper, we describe the development of an open source spell checker for Gikuyu language using the Hunspell language tools. We explore the morphology of Gikuyu, highlighting the inflection of various parts of speech in Gikuyu including verbs, nouns, and adjectives among others. In Hunspell, surface words are realized as a set of continuation classes, with each class providing a morpheme with a specific function. In addition, circumfixation, which is prevalent in Gikuyu derived nouns, is implemented. Hunspell also provides for word suggestion using character prevalence and replacement rules. Given that the developed Gikuyu spellchecker and the Hunspell tools are open source, the spell checking function developed in this work can be adopted in major open-source products such as Mozilla and OpenOffice products. The spell checker has a fairly representative Gikuyu lexicon and achieves an acceptable realization of a Gikuyu spellchecker. When tested on a test corpus, the spell checker attains a precision of 82%, recall of 84% and an accuracy of 75%.
University of NairobiCollege of Biological and physical science