New Google Corpus

As many of you readers know, I love the Google ngram corpus. Well, excitingly, Google has just released a new corpus that should be fun to play around with. Here’s the notice from the Linguist List email:


We’re pleased to announce a new corpus — the Google Books
(American English) corpus:

This corpus is based on the American English portion of the Google
Books data (see and especially It contains 155 *billion* words
(155,000,000,000) in more than 1.3 million books from the 1810s-
2000s (including 62 billion words from just 1980-2009).

The corpus has most of the functionality of the other corpora from (e.g. COCA, COHA, and our interface to the
BNC), including: searching by part of speech, wildcards, and lemma
(and thus advanced syntactic searches), synonyms, collocate
searches, frequency by decade (tables listing each individual string, or
charts for total frequency), comparisons of two historical periods (e.g.
collocates of “women” or “music” in the 1800s and the 1900s), and

This American English corpus is just one of seven Google Books-based
corpora that we hope to create in the next year or two (contingent on
funding, which we are applying for in June 2011). If funded, the other
corpora will include British English, English from the 1500s-1700s, and
corpora of Spanish, French, and German (see the listing at Each of these corpora will be
based on at least 50 billion words of data, and they should represent a
nice addition to existing resources.

The Google Books (American English) corpus is freely-available at, and we hope that it is of value to you in
your research and teaching.

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