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 Related projects

Middle English Medical Texts

Irma Taavitsainen, Päivi Pahta and Martti Mäkinen
software written and CD-ROM produced by Raymond Hickey

Middle English Medical Texts (MEMT) is a purpose-built electronic corpus, a resource to be used on its own or together with other modern research tools. MEMT contains vernacular texts of the scholastic period and forms the first part of the Corpus of Early English Medical Writing (1375-1750). We wanted to make this part available to scholars and thus contribute to recent improvements in research tools. Studies on Middle English medical writing can have a solid basis with several new works of reference, manuscript information readily available in electronic databases, and large bibliographical files easily accessible through the Internet.

MEMT consists primarily of editions of medical treatises from c. 1375 to c. 1500 and an appendix of texts written c. 1330. It provides a new kind of electronic resource not only for linguists, but also for philologists and historians of medicine. Being a computerized collection of historical texts, MEMT is in many ways different from present-day language corpora, but in some respects it also differs from other historical corpora that are available. In this introduction we discuss the sociohistorical background of the texts and the principles of our corpus compilation, highlighting some of the differences. We also illustrate how the use of MEMT can be combined with other historical corpora and modern research tools, present a list of studies based on MEMT, and indicate some potential future uses of the corpus.

(from the introduction by the authors, contained on the CD-ROM)

You can visit the publisher’s website at John Benjamins Publishing Co. for information on purchasing the CD-ROM with this corpus.

Early Modern English Medical Texts

Corpus description and studies
Irma Taavitsainen and Päivi Pahta
Software by Raymond Hickey
John Benjamins, 2010

This project was initiated by a team of colleagues at the University of Helsinki and consists of a corpus of medical texts from the early modern period. It is a sequel to the corresponding corpus dealing with Middle English medical texts. For both projects I programmed adaptations of my general corpus-linguistic software, Corpus Presenter.

Link to relevant section of publisher’s website:

Testifying to Language and Life in Early Modern England

An electronic text edition of depositions 1560-1760
Merja Kytö, Peter Grund and Terry Walker
Software by Raymond Hickey
John Benjamins, 2011

A comprehensive collection of court depositions forms the basis for the current project undertaken by a team of researchers associated with the University of Uppsala. An adaptation of the Corpus Presenter software is supplied with the corpus to enable users to carry out powerful retrieval tasks quickly and easily.

The book with the CD containing the corpus along with the software for examining this is due to be published in May 2011.

Link to relevant section of publisher’s website:

 Corpora for the history of English

Since the early 1990’s a large number of corpora have become available which consist of texts covering periods in the history of English. The first major corpus in this area was the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts (1991, 1993) which includes extracts from various works ranging from Old English to the late modern period. At the University of Helsinki various additional corpora have been compiled since, focussing on a selection of texts, either of a particular genre, e.g. personal correspondence, medical texts, or from a particular region, e.g. Scottish texts. Other universities soon followed suit and by the end of the decade quite an impressive range of corpora was available.

Below a selection of corpora are listed to convey an impression of the variety and coverage of those currently available. This is an expanding field and with each passing year new corpora appear, some of which are put in the public domain by their compilers.

Name Compiling institution / individuals
ARCHER, a corpus of British and American English from 1650-1990 Douglas Biber and associates in Northwestern Arizona University in collboration with colleagues at the University of Freiburg, Germany
Australian Corpus of English Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia
Bank of English University of Bermingham, sponsored by the publisher HarperCollins
British National Corpus Consortium under the aegis of Oxford University Press
The Brooklyn-Geneva-Amsterdam-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English A parsed section of the original Helsinki corpus prepared by a number of linguists
Brown Corpus of Standard American English. W. Nelson Francis and Henry Kucera, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Corpus of 19th Century English Merja Kytö and associates, Uppsala University, Sweden
Corpus of Dialogues Merja Kytö, Uppsala University, Sweden and Jonathan Culpeper, Lancaster University, England
Corpus of Early English Correspondence Terttu Nevalainen and Helena Raumolin-Brunberg, University of Helsinki, Finland
Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) Mark Davies, Brigham Young University, USA
A Corpus of Irish English Raymond Hickey, Essen University, Germany (packaged with Corpus Presenter, Software for Language Analysis, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003)
Corpus of London Teenage Language (COLT) Anna-Britta Stenström and associates, Department of English, University of Bergen
Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse University of Michigan, Michigan
Freiburg-Brown Corpus of American English (FROWN) Christian Mair and associates, University of Freiburg, Germany
Freiburg-LOB Corpus of British English (FLOB) Christian Mair and associates, University of Freiburg, Germany
The Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots Anneli Meurman-Solin, Department of English, University of Helsinki, Finland
Innsbruck Corpus Archive of Middle English Texts (ICAMET) Manfred Markus, University of Innsbruck, Austria
International Corpus of English (ICE), collection of corpora from various anglophone countries, now (2005) partially completed Co-ordinated by the Department of English, University College London, England
Kolhapur Corpus of Indian English Shivaji University, Kolhapur
Lampeter Corpus of Early Modern English Tracts Josef Schmied, Technical University Chemnitz, Germany
Lancaster-Oslo-Bergen Corpus of British English Collaborative effort of the universities in the three cities named in title
London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English Departments of English at University College London, England and Lund University, Sweden
Middle English Medical Texts Irma Taavitsainen, Päivi Pahta and Martti Mäkinen, Department of English, University of Helsinki, Finland. Retrieval software by Raymond Hickey. Published by John Benjamins, 2005.
Northern Ireland Transcribed Corpus of Speech (NITCS) John Kirk, Department of English, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Old Bailey Court Depositions Department of History, University of Sheffield
Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English University of Santa Barbara, California
Zurich English Newspaper Corpus Udo Fries and associates, Department of English, Zurich University