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xLiMe Twitter Corpus

Luis Rei, Simon Krek, Dunja Mladenić




  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish


  • Part of Speech Tags
  • Named Entities
  • Sentiment (Polarity, Message Level)

Overall Numbers

The corpus consists of annotated tweets. Some tweets were set aside and labeled by all annotators working on the language.

Language Number of Annotators Tweets Tokens Overlapping Tweets Overlapping Tokens
German 2 3447 58264 47 791
Italian 3 8646 154371 45 758
Spanish 2 7713 133906 45 721

After removing the overlapping tweets the resulting corpus is

Language Tweets Tokens
German 3400 60873
Italian 8601 162269
Spanish 7668 140852


Language Positive Neutral Negative Total
German 334 2924 142 3400
Italian 554 7524 523 8601
Spanish 388 7083 197 7668

Part of Speech

Tag German Italian Spanish
Adjective 2514 7684 5741
Adposition 4333 14960 13467
Adverb 4173 8476 6116
Conjunction 1576 6737 6684
Continuation 918 4227 3422
Determiner 2990 9811 10037
Emoticon 449 1076 951
Hashtag 1895 3035 1805
Interjection 225 1427 1109
Mention 1984 6519 9070
Noun 11057 30759 23230
Number 1176 2550 1568
Other 1936 1503 3033
Particle 638 352 18
Pronoun 4530 7737 10333
Punctuation 8650 20529 14102
URL 1923 4494 3019
Verb 6506 21793 19460

Named Entities

Entity Type German Italian Spanish
Location 742 2087 1441
Miscellaneous 995 5802 775
Organization 350 1150 836
Person 757 3701 2321
Total 2844 12740 5373

Agreement Measures


Measure German Italian Spanish
Number of Documents 47 45 45
Number of Annotators 2 3 2
Raw Agreement 0.83 0.59 0.73
Cohen/Fleiss Kappa -0.07 0.02 0.37
Interpretation Poor Slight Fair

Part of Speech

Measure German Italian Spanish
Number of Tokens 791 758 721
Number of Annotators 2 3 2
Raw Agreement 0.80 0.89 0.87
Cohen/Fleiss Kappa 0.88 0.87 0.85
Interpretation Almost Perfect Almost Perfect Almost Perfect

Named Entity Recognition

Measure German Italian Spanish
Number of Tokens 791 758 721
Number of Annotators 2 3 2
Raw Agreement 0.96 0.91 0.97
Cohen/Fleiss Kappa 0.67 0.42 0.51
Interpretation Substantial Moderate Moderate

Collection and Preprocessing

The tweets were randomly sampled from the twitter public stream. They were preprocessed by the same preprocessing steps as in twitter_sentiment_gen:

  1. Files no identified by twitter as part of the target language were discarded;
  2. Tweets with less than 5 tokens were discarded;
  3. Tweets with more than 3 mentions were discarded;
  4. Tweets with more than 2 URLs were discarded;
  5. [M11] was used on the tweet text without mentions or URLs and tweets with a target language probability lower than 70% were discard;
  6. URLs and Mentions were replaced with a pre-specified token;
  7. Tweets were tokenized with a variant of twokenize [C10];
  8. For each language, a random subsample of 10,000 tweets was selected.

Note: Some errors seem to exist whereby some URLs are incorrectly tokenized. This occurred possibly because of incorrect handling of truncated retweets.


The Part of Speech tags were pre-annotated using Pattern [S12]. The annotators used a web application that for each document allowed them to perform both document level and token level annotations. The pre-annotation code used is available in code\

The guidelines are available in the Guidelines file.

Annotators had the option to mark any tweet as Trash (e.g. if the language was misidentified) or Skip if they were unsure. The selection of a label was made via a "dropdown" menu with all possible options.

Part of Speech (POS) Tagging Experiment

The baseline used for POS Tagging consists of a UniGram tagger implemented with NLTK. The UniGram tagger assigns the most likely tag seen for a lower case token in the training set if there are at least 5 examples. Otherwise it uses the most common tag ('NOUN'). Only universal tags were used in the training and testing of this classifier in order to be comparable with the other classifiers.

The UniGram tagger is trained using the first 70% of the corpus and tested on the remaining 30%. This baseline tagger is contained in code/

The other POS Taggers evaluated were:

Language Model Accuracy Tokens Evaluated
German Baseline 0.85 14106
German Stanford POS (german-hgc) 0.69 47089
German RDRPOSTagger (German) 0.70 47089
Spanish Baseline 0.89 31162
Spanish Standord POS (spanish-distsim) 0.13 103752
Italian Baseline 0.90 36708
Italian RDRPOSTagger (Italian) 0.44 123080

The results obtained by the baseline were expected (see [C93]). The German results are only slightly lower than expected. The results obtained from other taggers (Spanish and Italian) are significantly below our expectations. The two hypothesis are that this was due to the difference in tagsets and tokenization.


Download zip file.

or use git:

git clone



Directory Description
data/ Contains the original data exported from the annotation tool.
code/ Contains code for exporting the original data and calculating measures.
corpus_task/ Usable corpus (non-overlapping) by language and task.
agreement/ Overlapping annotations in a format easy for calculating agreement.
experiments/ Contains the result of the POS tagging experiments.

Corpus - Usable (corpus_task/)

The usable corpus consists of the tweets and their annotations, extracted from the original data and converted into a more or less standard format using scripts in the code/ directory.

It does not include the overlapping tweets used to calculate agreement.


The sentiment files are in a Tab Separated Values format with the header:

id	text	label
  • id is the twitter provided tweet tweet id.
  • text is the text of the tweet
  • label is the manually assigned sentiment: 'positive', 'neutral' or 'negative'.

All instances of detected URLs have been replaced with the special token TURLTURL. All instances of usernames have been replaced with TUSERUSER.

These files were generated from the original data using the script code/

Sequence Tagging: Part of Speech and Named Entity Recognition

The Part of Speech and Named Entity recognition files are in the CONLL format which consists of empty-line delimited sentences (in this case, tweets) where each non-empty line is a token followed by a space and the tag.

These files were generated from the original data using the script code/

All instances of detected URLs have been replaced with the URL and all instances of twitter username have @lmrei.


Running the code requires python and the pandas library. The scripts are meant to be run from the base directory. and are include for reference and are not meant to be run with the provided data.

Running required a particular arrangement of the external dependencies (Stanford POS Tagger and RDRPOSTagger).

git clone
cd xlime_twitter_corpus
python code/
File Description calculates the inter annotator agreement measures. common data manipulation functions used from other scripts. runs the Part of Speech experiment. creates the sentiment corpus files from the original data. was used to pre-annotate the corpus. contains several sequence tagging helper functions. calculates the corpus token and document counts. calculates the task specific counts. the tokenizer used in creating this corpus. creates the POS and NER corpus from the original data. saves the overlapping data in a format appropriate


The guidelines are available at Guidelines.


The annotators, in alphabetical order: Edvin Dervisevic, Miha Helbl, Jošt Jesenovec, Maša Kmet, Eva Podobnik, Iza Škrjanec and Viktor Zelj.

This work was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency and the ICT Programme of the EC under XLime (FP7-ICT-611346).


[C93] Eugene Charniak, Curtis Hendrickson, Neil Jacobson, and Mike Perkowitz. 1993. Equations for part-of-speech tagging. In AAAI, pages 784–789.

[T03] Kristina Toutanova, Dan Klein, Christopher Manning, and Yoram Singer. 2003. Feature-Rich Part-of-Speech Tagging with a Cyclic Dependency Network. In Proceedings of HLT-NAACL 2003, pp. 252-259

[C10] TweetMotif: Exploratory Search and Topic Summarization for Twitter. Brendan O'Connor, Michel Krieger, and David Ahn. ICWSM-2010 (demo track).

[M11] Lui, Marco and Timothy Baldwin (2011) Cross-domain Feature Selection for Language Identification, In Proceedings of the Fifth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP 2011), Chiang Mai, Thailand, pp. 553—561.

[S12] De Smedt, T. & Daelemans, W. (2012). Pattern for Python. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 13: 2031–2035.

[N14] Dat Quoc Nguyen, Dai Quoc Nguyen, Dang Duc Pham and Son Bao Pham. RDRPOSTagger: A Ripple Down Rules-based Part-Of-Speech Tagger. In Proceedings of the Demonstrations at the 14th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL), pp. 17-20, 2014.