The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

24 Sep 2008


I learnt about concordancers and text corpora three years ago when studying SEMANTICA Y LEXICOGRAFÍA INGLESAS

These are three websites which allow the use of large quantities of written texts and transcriptions of oral language in order to learn about the use of a particular word:

The Collins Wordbanks Online English corpus is composed of 56 million words collected from
British books, ephemera, radio, newspapers, magazines (36m words) , American books, ephemera and radio (10m words), and British transcribed speech (10m words) The demo available on the Internet for free is restricted to 40 lines of concordance but, anyhow, it is useful to get an idea of the usage of words.

The Web Concordancer allows searching for words in different corpora such as 'Sherlock Holmes stories', 'Louis Stevenson, 'Computing texts', 'the Bible', etc.'

Corpus Concordance English includes the 'Brown corpus' (1,000,000 words), 'US TV talk' (2,000,000 words) and other thematic banks of texts.

I tried the three resources by looking up 'wordsmith'. Collins produced the largest set of sentences (only four, though)

artful sound, revolving around a shy mumbling wordsmith, crouched in the middle of the stage,
DO TODAY IS WARN WROTE the brilliant young wordsmith Wilfred Owen from the hell-hole trenches of
What exactly is ME? According to that fecund wordsmith Fritz Spiegl in his new medical browsing
to hapless university lecturer and renowned wordsmith Timothy Hutton in George A. Romero's

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Maite. I must confess, I have just learned the word "ephemera" in the sense of

    "2 ephemera plural : paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles"