A method and apparatus for computer text retrieval which involves annotating at least selected text subdivisions, preferably with natural language questions, assertions or noun phrases. However, the annotations may also initially be generated in a structured form. Annotations are, if required, converted to a structured form and are stored in that form. Searching for relevant text subdivisions involves entering a query in natural language or structured form, converting natural language queries to structured form, matching the structured form query against stored annotations and retrieving text subdivisions connected to matched annotations. The annotation process may be aided by utilizing various techniques for automatically or semiautomatically generating the annotations.