libleipzig -- binding

libleipzig-python provides a wrapper to the web services provided by the Deutscher Wortschatz project of the University of Leipzig. Deutscher Wortschatz is a German database of text corpora and can be utilized to analyze and contextualize words in the thesaurus. libleipzig currently supports all public service calls. These do not require authentication and are provided free of charge for private or scientific purposes (even though you can supply Level-2 credentials for rate limiting purposes).



libleipzig prefetches all service interfaces on initial load. This process requires an Internet connection.

Subsequent imports use indefinitely cached definitions (WSDL files).


>>> from libleipzig import * # might take some time initially
>>> r = Baseform(u"Schlangen")
>>> r # doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
[(Grundform: u'Schlange', Wortart: u'N'),
 (Grundform: u'Schlangen', Wortart: u'S')]
>>> r[0].Grundform
>>> help(Baseform) # doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
Help on function Baseform in module libleipzig.protocol:
Baseform(*vectors, **options)
    Baseform(Wort) -> Grundform, Wortart
        Return the lemmatized (base) form.


Service calls

Every service calls takes exactly its request parameters (as defined in the list of webservices) as positional or keyword arguments and accepts a number of generic options:

Authentication credentials; a tuple of (username, password). See Authentication.
Language corpus; a string identifier. See Corpora.

In case of a remote error all services will throw a suds.WebFault (which can be readily imported from libleipzig).


The project collects corpora in a variety of languages, German (de) only being the largest one and thus the default. According to the reference implementation the following corpora are available (those marked with asterisks actually worked as of the time of writing):

Note that these collections are not as comprehensive as the German corpus and thus might only provide selected services. Most often these are the simple text processing calls such as RightNeighbours. You can use these corpora in libleipzig by supplying the corpus parameter to any of the service calls:

>>> import libleipzig
>>> libleipzig.Cooccurrences("programming", 0, 1, corpus="en")
[(Wort: u'programming', Kookkurrenz: u'language', Signifikanz: u'4152')]


You can increase your rate limit or gain access to private services by supplying authentication credentials to a service call:

Baseform("programming", auth=("username", "password"))

Public service calls can be accessed with the combination anonymous/anonymous, which is also the default. If you wish to persist your credentials among several calls (to the same service) you can save them in the service:

Baseform.set_credentials("username", "password")

You should only use the former syntax if you care about thread-safety or do not want to expose your credentials through the service's transport metadata for all of the program's runtime.


For unauthenticated service calls the server might raise errors such as the following:

suds.WebFault: Server raised fault:
'java.lang.Exception: Communication link failure,
                      message from server: "Server shutdown in progress"'

This is the API's way to impose rate limits on anonymous users. See Authentication for a way to avoid this issue.

Command-line interface

libleipzig provides a commandline tool called wortschatz which allows a thin layer upon the programmatic API in an ad-hoc fashion. It takes the desired service as its first argument followed by the service's arguments.

The results of the service call are printed in separate lines with the fields separated by commas (use --delimiter to modify that behaviour, it understands patterns such as \t for TAB). Use --schema to obtain the service's result columns.

You can supply your credentials via --user and --password for authenticated access.

When services are called with the wrong name or wrong number of arguments the program will terminate with exit code 1. If the remote server reported failure (eg. wrong credentials) the program terminates with exit code 2.


  • Added commandline script wortschatz for ad-hoc access.
  • Jumped to setuptools.
  • Fixed missing return values in services Sentences and Synonyms.
  • Fixed compatibility issues with suds 0.4.
  • Added persistable authentication support.
  • Added authentication support.
  • Added different corpora to services.
  • Exposed WebFault error condition.
  • Extended service parameter by generic options.
  • Bumped suds version to 0.3.9.
  • Fixed numerous unicode issues and pointed out potential pitfalls.
  • Fixed caching to be persistent but lazy.
  • Upgraded virtual environment to incremental build steps.
  • Pushed tests into installed package.


RightNeighbours(Wort, Limit)

Returns:Wort, Nachbar, Signifikanz

Return statistically significant right neighbours (words co-occurring immediately next to the input word).

Kreuzwortraetsel(Wort, Wortlaenge, Limit)


Return words that match the pattern Wort. The percentage sign (%) acts as a wildmask.


Returns:Grundform, Wortart

Return the lemmatized (base) form.

Similarity(Wort, Limit)

Returns:Wort, Verwandter, Signifikanz

Return automatically computed contextually similar words of the input word. Such similar words may be antonyms, hyperonyms, synonyms, cohyponyms or other. Note that due to the huge amount of data any query to this service may take a long time.

LeftNeighbours(Wort, Limit)

Returns:Nachbar, Wort, Signifikanz

Returns statistically significant left neighbours (words co-occurring immediately next to the input word).

RightCollocationFinder(Wort, Wortart, Limit)

Returns:Wort, Kollokation, Wortart

Attempt to find linguistic collocations that occur right to the word. The Wortart parameter shall be either A, V, N, or S meaning adjective, verb, noun and stopword, respectively. The parameter restricts the type of words found.


Returns:Anzahl, Frequenzklasse

Return the frequency and frequency class. Frequency classes are computed in relation to the most frequent word in the corpus. The higher the class, the rarer the word.

Thesaurus(Wort, Limit)


Return synonyms (like the Synonyms service). However, this lemmatizes the input word first and thus returns more synonyms.

Synonyms(Wort, Limit)

Returns:Synonym, Wortart

Return synonyms. In other words, this is a thesaurus.

Sentences(Wort, Limit)

Returns:Nummer, Satz

Return sample sentences containing the input word.

LeftCollocationFinder(Wort, Wortart, Limit)

Returns:Kollokation, Wortart, Wort

Attempt to find linguistic collocations that occur left to the word. The Wortart parameter shall be either A, V, N, or S meaning adjective, verb, noun and stopword, respectively. The parameter restricts the type of words found.

Wordforms(Word, Limit)


Return all other word forms of the same lemma.



Return categories.

Cooccurrences(Wort, Mindestsignifikanz, Limit)

Returns:Wort, Kookkurrenz, Signifikanz

Return statistically significant co-occurrences.