LINGUIST List 5.1133

Mon 17 Oct 1994

Sum: Word Frequency Lists

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Elyse Abraham, word frequency lists - summary

Message 1: word frequency lists - summary

Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 00:53:10 word frequency lists - summary
From: Elyse Abraham <>
Subject: word frequency lists - summary

Last month I posted the following query:

> Our discourse research group is currently analyzing data collected in a
> large scale discourse production study. Currently, as a source of word
> frequencies we are using:

> John B. Carroll, Peter Davies, & Barry Richman. _The American Heritage
> Word Frequency Book_

> At least one portion of the analysis would be much easier if we could
> gain access to software containing the word frequency list or indeed,
> any other comparative list.

> Is anyone aware of any word frequency software? Any suggestions would
> be greatly appreciated!

We received a number of responses to our query -- some offering
suggestions and many asking that we share our findings.

We would like to thank everyone who responded with suggestions -- Mark
Seidenberg, Barbara Ruth Campbell, Matthew Haines, Robert Braswell, Kari
Pitkanen, Richard Piepenbrock, Martin Corley, Eric Johnson, Betty
Phillips, Clark Edwards, Gregory Grefenstette, Cathy Ball, and Moses
Nyongwa. We very much appreciate the information you sent our way.

A summary of the suggestions received is appended below.

Best regards,

Elyse K. Abraham, Dept. of Linguistics, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada tel: (403) 492-5952 fax: (403) 492-0806


 1. Barbara Ruth Campbell suggested contacting the Center for Electronic
Texts in the Humanities <> for information
about full-text analysis programs, such as TACT. There is also a TACT
list which can be joined by contacting <TACT-Lutoronto.bitnet>

 2. Robert Braswell suggested contacting Grady Ward, who writes software
including word lists, thesauri, etc., at <>.

 3. Richard Piepenbrock provided information on CELEX, a lexical database
available on CD-ROM. For information: <>. This was also
recommended by Betty Phillips.

 4. Martin Corley suggested the MRC psycholinguistic database (with
frequencies from Kucera & Francis, 1967: anonymous ftp from (the Oxford Text Archive).

 5. Eric Johnson suggested his program which computes English word
frequency in an ASCII text. Contact him at <>

 6. Clark Edwards suggested his program which does a frequency count and
valence analysis in text. Contact him at <>

 7. Kari Pitkanen <kpitkaneling.Helsinki.FI> & Gregory Grefenstette
<> both suggested that for anyone with access
to UNIX, it is possible to get word frequencies by using standard

 8. Cathy Ball suggested 3 types of software that will create word
frequencies: MicroOCP (published by Oxford University Press), TACT
(University of Toronto [see also #1 above]) both for PCs and Conc
(available from U Michigan archives) for Mac.

 9. Moses Nyongwa suggested SATO, developed by F. Daoust at Centre ATO-CI.
For more info, contact Jean-Guy Meunier, Centre ATO-CI, (514) 987-3804.

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