Francis Heylighen and Jean-Marc Dewaele defined a measure of language formality called "F-Measure" in a paper published in 1999 titled "Formality of Language: definition, measurement and behavioral determinants". Is there software available that examines English text and determines an F-score, or some other objective measure of formality?

  • Note that text is not language, and "formality" is defined quite differently in speech. Also, in order to count nouns as opposed to verbs (for instance), one needs a parse of each sentence, so start with a tagging parser.
    – jlawler
    Mar 14 '14 at 20:23
  • I'm not familiar with this measure, but be aware that there's something else called an f-score that's used in information retrieval and machine learning, and which is widely implemented in software. I.e. searching will give you a lot of false positives.
    – mc0e
    Mar 18 '14 at 18:07
  • Thanks for the feedback. Maybe I should broaden the scope to software that provides more basic information like a histogram of parts-of-speech (e.g. nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, interjection, preposition). Mar 18 '14 at 19:04

I work with Heylighen & Dewaele's F-score as part of my research. If you need code, please let me know. Here are the three papers I wrote on this topic (another in progress):

paper 1 paper 2 paper 3

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