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Given two large corpora of text from different sources, is there an accepted way to get differences in vocabulary (n-grams) between them?

That is, to get results which say that, for example, the bigram "hello world" is much more common in corpus A than corpus B (ideally with some kind of measure of how much more common).

TF-IDF examples use a larger number of documents to highlight "important" words in each, but I am not sure if that would work in this case?

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As far as I understood your question you can work with NLTK.

Have a look on the following functions:

  • Tokenize
  • Stemmers
  • pos_tags (if you wanna categorize by Verb, Noun etc. beforehand)

And to come to your question of similarity or relative word/phrase usage you have FreqDistfunction in NLTK. Using this Output you could set each occurance relative to the length of the list that is returned by tokenize

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