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The Freiburg - LOB Corpus of British English (FLOB)

a group of students at Freiburg University


syntactic dependencies, POS

  • University of Freiburg

In 1991 a group of students at Freiburg University were engaged in what at first sight must appear as an almost anachronistic activity: they were keying in extracts of roughly 2,000 words from British newspapers. The sampling model was the press section of the LOB corpus (see Sand/Siemund 1992). 1992 saw the beginning of a new Brown corpus. The ultimate aim was to compile parallel one-million-word corpora of the early 1990s that matched the original LOB and Brown corpora as closely as possible, and that would thus provide linguists with an empirical basis to study language change in progress. This aim is spelled out in some detail in Mair (1997:196). The parallel corpora were compiled to enable linguists to


  1. test at least some current hypotheses on linguistic change in present-day English;
  2. detect changes not previously noticed in the literature through the systematic comparison of lexical frequencies, particularly of closed-class items;
  3. to tackle systematically one of the major methodological issues in the study of ongoing change, namely the inter-dependence of synchronic regional (in our case British vs. American) and stylistic variation on the one hand, and genuine diachronic developments on the other."

  • English

  • Monolingual

2,000 words from British newspapers

  • Creative Commens

  • Rainer Siemund