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A package for calculating a wide variety of features from text

Project description


A Python package for calculating a large variety of statistics from text(s).


Clone the Github directory, navigate to it in a terminal, and call pip install .


To calculate all possible metrics:

import textdescriptives

# Input can be either a string, list of strings, or pandas Series 
en_test = ['The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.',
            'He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.']

textdescriptives.all_metrics(en_test, lang = 'en', snlp_path = snlp_path)
Text avg_word_length median_word_length std_word_length avg_sentence_length median_sentence_length std_sentence_length avg_syl_per_word median_syl_per_word std_syl_per_word type_token_ratio lix rix n_types n_sentences n_tokens n_chars gunning_fog smog flesch_reading_ease flesch_kincaid_grade automated_readability_index coleman_liau_index Germanic Latinate Latinate/Germanic mean_dependency_distance std_dependency_distance mean_prop_adjacent_dependency_relation std_prop_adjacent_dependency_relation
0 The world is changed.(...) 3.28571 3 1.54127 7 6 3.09839 1.08571 1 0.368117 0.657143 12.7143 0.4 24 5 35 121 3.94286 5.68392 107.879 -0.0485714 -2.45429 -0.708571 75 25 0.333333 1.60381 0.36493 0.695238 0.0481871
1 He felt that his whole (...) 4.16667 4 1.97203 24 24 0 1.16667 1 0.471405 0.833333 40.6667 4 21 1 24 101 11.2667 0 83.775 7.53667 10.195 7.46667 83.3333 16.6667 0.2 2.16 0 0.64 0

To calculate one category at a time:

textdescriptives.basic_stats(texts, lang = 'en', metrics = 'all')
textdescriptives.readability(texts, lang = 'en')
textdescriptives.etymology(texts, lang = 'en')
textdescriptives.dependency_distance(texsts, lang = 'en', snlp_path = None)

Textdescriptives works for most languages, simply change the country code:

da_test = pd.Series(['Da jeg var atten, tog jeg patent på ild. Det skulle senere vise sig at blive en meget indbringende forretning',
            "Spis skovsneglen, Mulle. Du vil jo gerne være med i hulen, ikk'?"])

textdescriptives.all_metrics(da_test, lang = 'da', snlp_path=snlp_path)

If you only want a subset of the basic statistics

textdescriptives.basic_stats(en_test, lang = 'en', metrics=['avg_word_length', 'n_chars'])
Text avg_word_length n_chars
0 The world is changed.(...) 3.28571 121
1 He felt that his whole (...) 4.16667 101


The readability measures are largely derived from the textstat library and are thoroughly defined there.


The etymology measures are calculated using macroetym only slightly rewritten to be called from a script. They are calculated since in English, a greater frequency of words with a Latinate origin tends to indicate a more formal language register.

Dependency Distance

Mean dependency distance can be used as a way of measuring the average syntactic complexity of a text. Requres the snlp library. The dependency distance function requires stanfordnlp, and their language models. If you have already downloaded these models, the path to the folder can be specified in the snlp_path paramter. Otherwise, the models will be downloaded to your working directory + /snlp_resources.


Depending on which measures you want to calculate, the dependencies differ.

  • Basic and readability: numpy, pandas, pyphen, pycountry
  • Etymology: nltk and the following models python3 -c "import nltk;'punkt');'stopwords');'averaged_perceptron_tagger');'wordnet')"
  • Depedency distance: snlp


Metrics currently implemented:

  1. Basic descriptive statistics - mean, median, standard deviation of the following:
  • Word length
  • Sentence length, words
  • Sentence length, characters (TODO)
  • Syllables per word
  • Number of characters
  • Number of sentences
  • Number of types (unique words)
  • Number of tokens (total words)
  • Type/toḱen ratio
  • Lix
  • Rix
  1. Readability metrics:
  • Gunning-Fog
  • SMOG
  • Flesch reading ease
  • Flesch-Kincaid grade
  • Automated readability index
  • Coleman-Liau index
  1. Etymology-related metrics:
  • Percentage words with Germanic origin
  • Percentage words with Latinate origin
  • Latinate/Germanic origin ratio
  1. Dependency distance metrics:
  • Mean dependency distance, sentence level (mean, standard deviation)
  • Mean proportion adjacent dependency relations, sentence level (mean, standard devaiation)

Developed by Lasse Hansen at the Center for Humanities Computing Aarhus

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