R package providing a set of fast tools for converting a textual corpus into a set of normalized tables.

This project is maintained by statsmaths

cleanNLP: A Tidy Data Model for Natural Language Processing

Author: Taylor B. Arnold
License: LGPL-2

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The cleanNLP package is designed to make it as painless as possible to turn raw text into feature-rich data frames. You can download the package from within R directly from CRAN:


A minimal working example of using cleanNLP consists of loading the package, setting up the NLP backend, initializing the backend, and running the function cnlp_annotate. The output is given as a list of data frame objects. Here is an example using the udpipe backend:


annotation <- cnlp_annotate(input = c(
        "Here is the first text. It is short.",
        "Here's the second. It is short too!",
        "The third text is the shortest."
# A tibble: 27 x 11
   doc_id   sid tid   token lemma space_after upos  xpos  feats tid_source
 *  <int> <int> <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr>       <chr> <chr> <chr> <chr>
 1      1     1 1     Here  here  "\\s"       ADV   RB    Pron… 0
 2      1     1 2     is    be    "\\s"       AUX   VBZ   Mood… 1
 3      1     1 3     the   the   "\\s"       DET   DT    Defi… 5
 4      1     1 4     first first "\\s"       ADJ   JJ    Degr… 5
 5      1     1 5     text  text  No          NOUN  NN    Numb… 1
 6      1     1 6     .     .     "\\s"       PUNCT .     NA    1
 7      1     2 1     It    it    "\\s"       PRON  PRP   Case… 3
 8      1     2 2     is    be    "\\s"       AUX   VBZ   Mood… 3
 9      1     2 3     short short No          ADJ   JJ    Degr… 0
10      1     2 4     .     .     "\\n"       PUNCT .     NA    3
# … with 17 more rows, and 1 more variable: relation <chr>

1      1
2      2
3      3

The token output table breaks the text into tokens, provides lemmatized forms of the words, part of speech tags, and dependency relationships. Two short case-studies are linked to from the repository to show sample usage of the library:

Please see the notes below, and the official package documentation on CRAN, for more options to control the way that text is parsed.

API Overview


There have been numerous changes to the package in the newly released version 3.0.0. These changes, while requiring some changes to existing code, have been carefully designed to make the package easier to both install and use. If you are running into any issues with the package, first make sure you are using updated materials (mostly available from links within this repository).


The cleanNLP package is designed to allow users to make use of various NLP annotation algorithms without having to worry (too much) about the output format, which is standardizes at best as possible. There are four backends currently available, each with their own pros and cons. They are:

In order to use the two Python backends, you must install the associated cleanNLP python module. We recommend and support the Python 3.7 version of Anaconda Python. After obtaining Python, install the module by running pip in a terminal:

pip install cleannlp

To select the desired backend, simply initilize the model prior to running the annotation.


The code above explicitly sets the default/English model. You can use a different model/language when starting the model. For udpipe the models will be downloaded automatically. For spacy and coreNLP the following helper functions are available:


Simply change the model name or language code to download alternative models.


If you make use of the toolkit in your work, please cite the following paper.

  title   = "A Tidy Data Model for Natural Language Processing Using cleanNLP",
  author  = "Arnold, Taylor B",
  journal = "R Journal",
  volume  = "9",
  number  = "2",
  year    = "2017"

Please, however, note that the library has evolved since the paper was published. For specific help with the package’s API please check the updated documents linked to from this site.


Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.