This is the first book to give an overall survey of the ongoing projects in diachronic computerized corpora of English. The volume is based on the papers read at the First International Colloquium for English Diachronic Corpora, held at Cambridge in March 1993.
Twelve historical English corpora, completed and in preparation, are introduced in the volume. Most of these can be described as mult-genre corpora; a few concentrate either on one genre only, or on the works of a single author.
Chronologically, these corpora span more than twelve centuries, from the beginnings of documented Old English up to our days. Besides Southern British English, corpus projects on Older Scots, Early American English, and Irish English are introduced. Some of the reports contain discussions of such important questions as genre division, normalization, and problems ofsampling.
In addition to corpus compilation projects, the volume contains reports on major projects in the field of the history of English utilizing corpora and specialized software. Two linguistic atlases (Early Middle English, Older Scots), and two dictionary projects (Early Modern English and Samuel Johnson), are introduced, as well as the English Historical Thesaurus, with a separate paper on the Old English Thesaurus. The volume also contains up-to-date information on software specially developed for historical corpus work (LEXA), on different kinds of network resources, and on the Text Encoding Intiative (TEI).