Isolated lignin with a low carbohydrate content was spiked with increasing amounts of alpha-cellulose, and then analysed by solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) using cross-polarization with magic angle spinning (CPMAS) and dipolar dephasing methods in order to assess the quantitative reliability of CPMAS measurement of carbohydrate content and to determine how increasingly intense resonances for carbohydrate carbons affect calculations of the degree of lignin's aromatic ring substitution and methoxyl carbon content. Comparisons were made of the carbohydrate content calculated by NMR with carbohydrate concentrations obtained by phenol-sulfuric acid assay and by the calculation from the known amounts of cellulose added. The NMR methods used in this study yield overestimates for carbohydrate carbons due to resonance area overlap from the aliphatic side chain carbons of lignin. When corrections are made for these overlapping resonance areas, the NMR results agree very well with results obtained by other methods. Neither the calculated methoxyl carbon content nor the degree of aromatic ring substitution in lignin, both calculated from dipolar dephasing spectra, change with cellulose content. Likewise, lignin methoxyl content does not correlate with cellulose abundance when measured by integration of CPMAS spectra. ?? 1992.