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'\" t
.\" Copyright (c) 2001-2012, Nadav Har'El and Dan Kenigsberg
.TH hspell 1 "28 February 2012" "Hspell 1.2" "Ivrix"
hspell \- Hebrew spellchecker
.B hspell
.B \-acDhHilnsvV
.BI [\| file\|.\|.\|. \|]
.B hspell
tries to find incorrectly spelled Hebrew words in its input files.
Like the traditional Unix spell(1),
.B hspell
outputs the sorted list of incorrect words, and does not have a more
friendly interface for making corrections for you. However, unlike
.B hspell
can suggest possible corrections for some spelling errors. Such suggestions
can be enabled with the
.B \-c
(correct) and
.B \-n
(notes) options.
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:
.B "hspell -c filename | bidiv | less"
If no input file is given,
.B hspell
reads from its standard input.
.B \-v
If the
.B \-v
option is given,
.B hspell
prints emacs-oriented version information and exits.
.B \-vv
Repetition of the
.B \-v
option causes
.B hspell
to also show some information on which optional features were enabled at
compile time.
.B \-V
With the
.B \-V
.B hspell
prints true and human-oriented version information and exits.
.B \-c
If the
.B \-c
option is given,
.B 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.
.B \-n
.B \-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,
.B \-cn
for maximal correction help from
.BR hspell .
.B \-l
.B \-l
(linguistic information) option will explain for each
.I 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
.B \-c
option in addition to
.B \-l
results in special behavior. In that case
.B 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.
.B \-s
Normally, the words deemed spelling mistakes are shown in alphabetical order.
.B \-s
option orders them by
.IR 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
.BR hspell 's
word list, and are looking for common correct words that
.B hspell
does not know yet.
.B \-a
With the
.B \-a
.B hspell
tries to emulate (as little as possible of)
.B ispell's
pipe interface. This allows
.B Lyx, Emacs, Geresh
to use
.B hspell
as an external spell-checker.
.B \-i
This option only has any effect when used together with the
.B \-a
option. Normally,
.B 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
.B \-i
option tells
.B hspell
to pass the non-Hebrew words to
.BR ispell (1),
and return its answer as an answer from
.BR hspell .
This allows conveniently spell-checking mixed Hebrew-English documents.
.B hspell
with the program name
.B hspell-i
also enables the
.B -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
.B multispell
script supplied with
.B hspell
serves a similar purpose, with more control over encodings and which
spell-checker to run for non-Hebrew words.
.B \-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
.B \-H
option nevertheless tells Hspell to allow this prefix.
.B \-D base
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".
.B \-d, \-B, \-m, \-T, \-C, \-S, \-P, \-p, \-w, and \-W
These options are passed to
.B hspell
.B lyx
or other applications, thinking they are talking to ispell. These options
are cordially ignored.
.\".TP 3
.\"bidiv README | less
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
.B 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 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,
.BR 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.
.B 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
.BR hspell
from source.
These lists, before and after inflection, may be useful for much more than
spellchecking. Morphological analysis (which
.B hspell
provides with the
.B \-l
option) is one example. For more ideas, see
Hspell project's Web site, at
.BR\-checker .
~/.hspell_words, ./hspell_words
These files, if they exist, should contain a list of Hebrew words that
.B hspell
will also accept as correct words.
Note that only these words
.I exactly
will be added -
they are not inflected, and prefixes are not automatically allowed.
The standard Hebrew word lists used by
.BR hspell .
Currently always 0.
The version of
.B hspell
described by this manual page is 1.2.
Copyright (C) 2000-2012, Nadav Har'El <>
and Dan Kenigsberg <>.
Hspell is free software, released under the GNU Affero General Public License
(AGPL) version 3.
Note that not only the programs in the distribution, but also the dictionary
files and the generated word lists, are licensed under the AGPL.
There is no warranty of any kind.
See the LICENSE file for more information and the exact license terms.
The latest version of this software can be found in
The hspell utility and the linguistic databases behind it (collectively called
"the Hspell project") were created by Nadav Har'El <>
and by Dan Kenigsberg <>.
Although we wrote all of Hspell's code ourselves, we are truly indebted to
the old-style "open source" pioneers - people who wrote books instead of
hiding their knowledge in proprietary software. For the correct noun
inflections, Dr. Shaul Barkali's "The Complete Noun Book" has been a great
help. Prof. Uzzi Ornan's booklet "Verb Conjugation in Flow Charts" has been
instrumental in the implementation of verb conjugation, and Barkali's
"The Complete Verb Book" was used too.
During our work we have extensively used a number of Hebrew dictionaries,
including Even Shoshan, Millon Ha-hove and Rav-Milim, to ensure the correctness
of certain words. Various Hebrew newspapers and books, both printed and online,
were used for inspiration and for finding words we still do not recognize.
We wish to thank Cilla Tuviana and Dr. Zvi Har'El for their assistance with
some grammatical questions.
Several other people helped us in various releases, with suggestions, fixes
or patches - they are listed in the WHATSNEW file in the distribution.
.BR hspell (3),
.BR spell (1),
.BR ispell (1),
.BR bidiv (1),
.BR iconv (1),
.BR recode (1)
This manual page is in English.
.\".B hspell
.\"spellchecker depends on word lists created by the Hspell project. At this
.\"stage, these word lists still do not cover all of the Hebrew
.\"vocabulary, and so
.\".B hspell
.\"will often list correct words (that it doesn't know) as being wrong. This
.\"is being worked on, and
.\".BR hspell 's
.\"vocabulary will grow from release to release.
.\"Version 0.6 and above feature a redesigned front-end, which is unfortunately
.\"missing a few features that existed in version 0.5. For more details, see
.\"file in the distribution.
For GUI-lovers,
.BR hspell 's
user interface is an abomination. However, as more and more applications learn to
interface with
.BR hspell ,
and as Hspell's data becomes available in multi-lingual spellcheckers (such as
aspell and hunspell), this will no longer be an issue. See
for instructions on how to use Hspell in a variety of applications.
.BR hspell 's
being limited to the ISO-8859-8 encoding, and not recognizing UTF-8
or even CP1255 (including niqqud), is an anachronism today.
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