Summary: English word frequency
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10 days ago I posted a query about recent English word frequency lists.
Counter my expectations, I received very few references to the relevant
I would like to thank the following Linguist subscribers for their
Marie C. Egan
Suggestions that I received are given below in no particular order.
Most of the major newspapers have their papers on line. Word
frequencies would be available that way. Otherwise check the
comp.speech site for references. I think they list that kind of
thing. Also most dictionary publishing forms have web sites now.
If you go to the Website for the linguist list, they have links
to several on-line sources for word frequency. The LDC at UPenn
is the first that comes to mind, but there are others too.
I have a chapter on word frequency in CURSING IN AMERICA (1992, John
Benjamins Pub Co - 1-800-562-5666). My research indicates how
frequency estimates exclude the usage of offensive words, along with
general problems of estimating word usage.
Barbara Pearson and Marie C. Egan referred to
Francis, W. N. & Kucera, H. (1982). Frequency analysis of English
usage: Lexicon and grammar. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
I would like to extend this list of suggestions with additional
references of interest:
Kucera, H. & Francis, W. N. (1967). Computational analysis of
present-day American English. Providence, RI: Brown University Press.
Bloom, P.A., & Fishler, I. (1980). Completion norms for
329 sentence contexts. Memory and Cognition, 8, 631-642.
On letter/bigram/trigram frequency see: Solso, R. L., & King,
J. F. (1976). Frequency and versatility of letters in the Endlish
language. Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation, 8, 283-286.
Solso, R. L., Barbuto, P. F. & Juel, C. L. (1979). Bigram and trigram
frequency and versatility in the English language. Behavior Research
Methods and Instrumentation, 11, 475-484.
There is a link to this site on the Linguist's web page.
HCRC Map Task Corpus (150,000 tokens)
ARTFL Project Word Frequency Search Form at
Statistics gathered for the most frequent words found on Usenet in
A follow-up on Kucera & Francis study:
I am very much looking forward to further references and suggestions
on the subject. If I receive additional information, I will certainly
update the summary. And once again, many thanks to those who
Alexander Zheltukhin, Ph.D.
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