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Text corpus

electronic text corpus of sumerian literature, text corpus
In linguistics, a corpus plural corpora or text corpus is a large and structured set of texts nowadays usually electronically stored and processed They are used to do statistical analysis and hypothesis testing, checking occurrences or validating linguistic rules within a specific language territory


  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Archaeological corpora
  • 3 Some notable text corpora
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


A corpus may contain texts in a single language monolingual corpus or text data in multiple languages multilingual corpus

Multilingual corpora that have been specially formatted for side-by-side comparison are called aligned parallel corpora There are two main types of parallel corpora which contain texts in two languages In a translation corpus, the texts in one language are translations of texts in the other language In a comparable corpus, the texts are of the same kind and cover the same content, but they are not translations of each other To exploit a parallel text, some kind of text alignment identifying equivalent text segments phrases or sentences is a prerequisite for analysis Machine translation algorithms for translating between two languages are often trained using parallel fragments comprising a first language corpus and a second language corpus which is an element-for-element translation of the first language corpus

In order to make the corpora more useful for doing linguistic research, they are often subjected to a process known as annotation An example of annotating a corpus is part-of-speech tagging, or POS-tagging, in which information about each word's part of speech verb, noun, adjective, etc is added to the corpus in the form of tags Another example is indicating the lemma base form of each word When the language of the corpus is not a working language of the researchers who use it, interlinear glossing is used to make the annotation bilingual

Some corpora have further structured levels of analysis applied In particular, a number of smaller corpora may be fully parsed Such corpora are usually called Treebanks or Parsed Corpora The difficulty of ensuring that the entire corpus is completely and consistently annotated means that these corpora are usually smaller, containing around one to three million words Other levels of linguistic structured analysis are possible, including annotations for morphology, semantics and pragmatics

Corpora are the main knowledge base in corpus linguistics The analysis and processing of various types of corpora are also the subject of much work in computational linguistics, speech recognition and machine translation, where they are often used to create hidden Markov models for part of speech tagging and other purposes Corpora and frequency lists derived from them are useful for language teaching Corpora can be considered as a type of foreign language writing aid as the contextualised grammatical knowledge acquired by non-native language users through exposure to authentic texts in corpora allows learners to grasp the manner of sentence formation in the target language, enabling effective writing

Archaeological corpora

Text corpora are also used in the study of historical documents, for example in attempts to decipher ancient scripts, or in Biblical scholarship Some archaeological corpora can be of such short duration that they provide a snapshot in time One of the shortest corpora in time, may be the 15–30 year Amarna letters texts 1350 BC The corpus of an ancient city, for example the "Kültepe Texts" of Turkey, may go through a series of corpora, determined by their find site dates

Some notable text corpora

Main article: List of text corpora

See also

  • Concordance
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Linguistic Data Consortium
  • Natural language processing
  • Natural Language Toolkit
  • Parallel text alignment
  • Search engines: they access the "web corpus"
  • Speech corpus
  • Translation memory
  • Treebank
  • Zipf's Law


  1. ^ Wołk, K; Marasek, K "A Sentence Meaning Based Alignment Method for Parallel Text Corpora Preparation" Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing Springer 275: 107–114 ISBN 978-3-319-05950-1 ISSN 2194-5357 
  2. ^ Wołk, K; Marasek, K 2015 "Tuned and GPU-accelerated Parallel Data Mining from Comparable Corpora" Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence Springer: 32–40 ISBN 978-3-319-24032-9 
  3. ^ Yoon, H, & Hirvela, A 2004 ESL Student Attitudes toward Corpus Use in L2 Writing Journal Of Second Language Writing, 134, 257–283 Retrieved 21 March 2012

External links

  • Free, web-based corpora 45-425 million words each: American COCA, COHA, TIME, British BNC, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Computational Linguistics at DMOZ
  • ACL SIGLEX Resource Links: Text Corpora
  • The Leipzig Glossing Rules: Conventions for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses
  • Developing Linguistic Corpora: a Guide to Good Practice
  • An interface for querying automatically-constructed virtual corpora
  • TEP: Tehran English-Persian Parallel Corpus
  • Building synchronous parallel corpora of the languages taught at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University
  • TS Corpus - A Turkish Corpus freely available for academic research
  • Turkish National Corpus - A general-purpose corpus for contemporary Turkish
  • Free web-based English corpus to download 3 billion words
  • Free corpus of German mistakes from Dyslexic people

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Text corpus

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