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Extract matches to fuzzy terms (globs/wildcards or regular expressions) from provided text, in order to assess their appropriateness for inclusion in a dictionary.


report_term_matches(dict, text = NULL, space = NULL, glob = TRUE,
  parse_phrases = TRUE, tolower = TRUE, punct = TRUE, special = TRUE,
  as_terms = FALSE, bysentence = FALSE, as_string = TRUE,
  term_map_freq = 1, term_map_spaces = 1, outFile = NULL,
  space_dir = getOption("lingmatch.lspace.dir"), verbose = TRUE)



A vector of terms, list of such vectors, or a matrix-like object to be categorized by read.dic.


A vector of text to extract matches from. If not specified, will use the terms in the term_map retrieved from select.lspace.


A vector space used to calculate similarities between term matches. Name of a the space (see select.lspace), a matrix with terms as row names, or TRUE to auto-select a space based on matched terms.


Logical; if TRUE, converts globs (asterisk wildcards) to regular expressions. If not specified, this will be set automatically.


Logical; if TRUE (default) and space is specified, will break unmatched phrases into single terms, and average across and matched vectors.


Logical; if FALSE, will retain text's case.


Logical; if FALSE, will remove punctuation markings in text.


Logical; if FALSE, will attempt to replace special characters in text.


Logical; if TRUE, will treat text as terms, meaning dict terms will only count as matches when matching the complete text.


Logical; if TRUE, will split text into sentences, and only consider unique sentences.


Logical; if FALSE, returns matches as tables rather than a string.


Proportion of terms to include when using the term map as a source of terms. Applies when text is not specified.


Number of spaces in which a term has to appear to be included. Applies when text is not specified.


File path to write results to, always ending in .csv.


Directory from which space should be loaded.


Logical; if FALSE, will not display status messages.


A data.frame of results, with a row for each unique term, and the following columns:

  • term: The originally entered term.

  • regex: The converted and applied regular expression form of the term.

  • categories: Comma-separated category names, if dict is a list with named entries.

  • count: Total number of matches to the term.

  • max_count: Number of matches to the most representative (that with the highest average similarity) variant of the term.

  • variants: Number of variants of the term.

  • space: Name of the latent semantic space, if one was used.

  • mean_sim: Average similarity to the most representative variant among terms found in the space, if one was used.

  • min_sim: Minimal similarity to the most representative variant.

  • matches: Variants, with counts and similarity (Pearson's r) to the most representative term (if a space was specified). Either in the form of a comma-separated string or a data.frame (if as_string is FALSE).


Matches are extracted for each term independently, so they may not align with some implementations of dictionaries. For instance, by default lma_patcat matches destructively, and sorts terms by length such that shorter terms will not match the same text and longer terms that overlap. Here, the match would show up for both terms.

See also

For a more complete assessment of dictionaries, see dictionary_meta().

Similar information is provided in the dictionary builder web tool.

Other Dictionary functions: dictionary_meta(), download.dict(), lma_patcat(), lma_termcat(), read.dic(), select.dict()


text <- c(
  "I am sadly homeless, and suffering from depression :(",
  "This wholesome happiness brings joy to my heart! :D:D:D",
  "They are joyous in these fearsome happenings D:",
  "I feel weightless now that my sadness has been depressed! :()"
dict <- list(
  sad = c("*less", "sad*", "depres*", ":("),
  happy = c("*some", "happ*", "joy*", "d:"),
  self = c("i *", "my *")

report_term_matches(dict, text)
#> preparing text (0)
#> preparing dict (0)
#> extracting matches (0)
#> preparing results (0)
#> done (0.01)
#>       term               regex categories count max_count variants
#> 1    *less   \\b[^\\s]*less\\b        sad     2         1        2
#> 2     sad*    \\bsad[^\\s]*\\b        sad     2         1        2
#> 3  depres* \\bdepres[^\\s]*\\b        sad     2         1        2
#> 4    *some   \\b[^\\s]*some\\b      happy     2         1        2
#> 5    happ*   \\bhapp[^\\s]*\\b      happy     2         1        2
#> 6     joy*    \\bjoy[^\\s]*\\b      happy     2         1        2
#> 7      i *     \\bi [^\\s]*\\b       self     2         1        2
#> 8     my *    \\bmy [^\\s]*\\b       self     2         1        2
#> 9       d:            \\bd:\\b      happy     2         2        1
#> 10      :(          \\b:\\(\\b        sad     0         0        0
#>                          matches
#> 1   homeless (1), weightless (1)
#> 2         sadly (1), sadness (1)
#> 3  depressed (1), depression (1)
#> 4    fearsome (1), wholesome (1)
#> 5  happiness (1), happenings (1)
#> 6            joy (1), joyous (1)
#> 7           i am (1), i feel (1)
#> 8   my heart (1), my sadness (1)
#> 9                         d: (2)
#> 10