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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Media: Culturomics - A Google Application for Studying Language

Submitter: Mark Davies

Submitter Email: mark_davies@byu.edu
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Lexicography

Media Body: 'Culturomics' (http://www.culturomics.org) and the new Google Books
interface (http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/) have been widely featured in
newspapers and magazines for the last day or two (see
http://www.culturomics.org/cultural-observatory-at-harvard/papers). The
resource allows you to search 500 billion words of text to see changes in
the frequency of words and phrases, and thus changes in American society,
culture, and (presumably) language as well.

We have created a page (http://corpus.byu.edu/coha/compare-culturomics.asp)
that compares Google Books / Culturomics to the new 400 million word,
NEH-funded Corpus of Historical American English [COHA]
(http://corpus.byu.edu/coha/). It discusses how Google Books is nice for
exact words and phrases; but of the two, COHA is the only tool that really
allows you to look at a wide range of changes - lexical, morphological,
syntactic, and semantic.
Issue Number: 21.5147
Date Posted: December 18, 2010

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