Núcleo Interinstitucional de Lingüística Computacional
An Interinstitutional Center for Research and Development in Computational Linguistics


A Linguistic Knowledge-Based Spell-Checker for Brazilian Portuguese


  Starting Time: 1999


Develop an interactive isolated-word spelling-error corrector for Brazilian Portuguese that will not fail users when they are lost for words, or rather, good guesses of correction. We call this feature “utility-orientation”, which we intend to accomplish by means of massive (psycho)linguistic modeling.


This project focuses on the generation of linguistically plausible/helpful/useful suggestions of correction for a given string, presumed to be a word that has undergone some kind of recoverable, i.e. justifiable, distortion on the user’s part. Thus the detection of such a string as a spelling mistake is rather an assumption than an aim, but a very reasonable one, as we have ReGra’s vast instant-access lexicon at our disposal.


  Current Status:

2001 –

·           ongoing MSc project;

·           finishing up models of (chiefly linguistic) phenomena connected to spelling-error production (knowledge representation);

·           specifying the architecture and prototypical correction strategy.



  GoSPELL's Features:

·        coverage of a range of cognitive errors predictable on the basis of knowledge in the domains of phonetics, phonology or morphology;

·        recovery of multiple errors;

·        attempt at validating neologisms by assessing the morphological plausibility of unknown words and hypothesizing corresponding blocking forms;

·        inference of inflections of new words that have been taught by the user.


  GoSPELL's Expected Products:

·        the spell-checker proper;

·        valuable insights into Portuguese spelling, phonology and morphology;

·        a unified computational model of word distortion in Brazilian Portuguese;

·        cross-language software components for word analysis;

·        an instantiation of these components for Portuguese employing…

·        … represented knowledge for word and spelling analysis in Portuguese;

·        cross-language architecture for both spell-checking and error correction in general.



Jorge Marques Pelizzoni (MSc student)
Maria das Graças Volpe Nunes (supervisor)

  Finantial Support

CAPES: 1999-2001;

Finep (PADCT-CE, Proc. 88-98-059100-02-01): 2001.
FAPESP (Proc. 00/10688-0): 2001-…;


Jorge Marques Pelizzoni (e-mail: jorgemp@icmc.sc.usp.br)