Character-position arithmetic for analogy questions between word forms

Yves Lepage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We show how to answer analogy questions A:B::C:D of unknown D between word forms, by essentially relying on the basic arithmetic equality D[ib - ia + ic] = B[ib] - A[ia] + C[ic] on characters and positions at the same time. We decompose the problem into two steps: specification and decoding. We examine several techniques to implement each of these two steps. We perform experiments on a set of positive and negative examples and assess the accuracy of combinations of techniques. We then evaluate the performance of the best combination of techniques on a large set of more than 40 million analogy questions from the training data of a shared task in morphology. We obtain the correct answer in 94 % of the cases.


  • Analogy questions
  • Character-position arithmetic
  • Formal analogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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