Say I have the function:

dep = TextStructure["He wrote a book. I read the book he wrote.", 
  "DependencyStrings", PerformanceGoal -> "Speed"]

Which outputs:

{"(wrote, 2)((nsubj, (He, 1)), (dobj, (book, 4)((det, (a, 3)))))", \
"(read, 2)((nsubj, (I, 1)), (dobj, (book, 4)((det, (the, 3)), (rcmod, \
(wrote, 6)((nsubj, (he, 5)))))))"}

Firstly, I want to extract each case of nsubj with the list:


I have tried below but to no avail.

 Shortest["subj," ~~ __ ~~ 
    x : (LetterCharacter ~~ __ ~~ WordBoundary) /; x]]

This gets me half way, but it's not good enough:

StringCases[dep, Shortest["subj," ~~ __ ~~ ")"]]

Secondly, I want to get the root of the dependency which is the first word number pair of each sentence.


If it were an expression it would be easy through:

Cases[dep, {s_Symbol, _Integer} :> ToString@s, 1]]

But I need to extract it from a string. Thanks in advance.


2 Answers 2


Try these:

 "((nsubj, (" ~~ w : WordCharacter .. ~~ ", " ~~ DigitCharacter .. ~~ "))" :> w]

StringCases[dep, "(" ~~ w : WordCharacter .. ~~ ___ :> w]
{{"He"}, {"I", "he"}}

{{"wrote"}, {"read"}}

A Regex attempt:

  RegularExpression["[(]nsubj,\s+[(]([^,]+)"] :> "$1"]&/@dep

{{He}, {I, he}}

  RegularExpression["^[(]([^,]+)"] :> "$1"]&/@dep

{{wrote}, {read}}


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