Apparatus and accompanying methods for an information retrieval system that utilizes natural language processing to process results retrieved by, for example, an information retrieval engine such as a conventional statistical-based search engine, in order to improve overall precision. Specifically, such a search ultimately yields a set of retrieved documents. Each such document is then subjected to natural language processing to produce a set of logical forms. Each such logical form encodes, in a word-relation-word manner, semantic relationships, particularly argument and adjunct structure, between words in a phrase. A user-supplied query is analyzed in the same manner to yield a set of corresponding logical forms therefor. Documents are ranked as a predefined function of the logical forms from the documents and the query. Specifically, the set of logical forms for the query is then compared against a set of logical forms for each of the retrieved documents in order to ascertain a match between any such logical forms in both sets. Each document that has at least one matching logical forms is heuristically scored, with each different relation for a matching logical forms being assigned a different corresponding predefined weight. The score of each such document is, e.g., a predefined function of the weights of its uniquely matching logical forms. Finally, the retained documents are ranked in order of descending score and then presented to a user in that order.