Comparison of Grammatical Word Types from a 26 Editorial Sample

(% diff indicates percentage difference of the the expected value for this word type from the actual word count. Negative numbers indicate that editorialists used this type less often than expected; a postive percentage means they used this type more often than expected.)


Editorial topics included the Nebraska bill (1854), the caning of Sumner (1856), the Dred Scott decision (1857), and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry (1859). Northern editorials were selected from the ardently anti-Southern N.Y. Tribune, Albany Evening Journal, Boston Transcript, and the Hartford Courant; Southern editorials were selected from the strenuously Southern rights Charleston Mercury and Richmond Enquirer.

Consult the text of these editorials (in TEI-lite SGML format)

Grammatical Type# Northern Words% difference# Southern Words% difference
coordinating conjunction 253-1938913
cardinal number 492430-40
determiner 8731958-1
existential `there' 10-502124
foreign word 1010
preposition or subordinating conjunction 903- 410913
adjective 368-14241
adjective, comparative 9-562025
adjective, superlative 6-671625
modal 12310113-11
noun, singular or mass 848-410223
proper noun, singular50613426-16
proper noun, plural342422-36
noun, plural 294-134099
predeterminer 7080
personal pronoun23010208-12
possessive pronoun111-1616411
adverb 237-73036
adverb, comparative 3-67729
adverb, superlative 4-50825
particle 0250
infinitive marker `to' 199-12260
interjection 1010
verb, base form 2758265-8
verb, past tense 1252186-30
verb, gerund or present participle 78-4943
verb, past participle 23402640
verb, non-3rd person singular present 1216121- 6
verb, 3rd person singular present 1697165-7
wh-determiner 43-12608
wh-pronoun 352322-36
possessive wh-pronoun 0333
wh-adverb 30408-150