LINGUIST List 13.1709

Mon Jun 17 2002

Software: Corpus Ling: Web-based Interface to BNC

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  • Sebastian Hoffmann, BNCweb--A Web-based Interface to the British National Corpus

    Message 1: BNCweb--A Web-based Interface to the British National Corpus

    Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 14:39:34 +0200
    From: Sebastian Hoffmann <>
    Subject: BNCweb--A Web-based Interface to the British National Corpus

    We would like to announce the release of BNCweb, a web-based interface to the 100-million word British National Corpus. ***What is BNCweb?***

    BNCweb is a user-friendly, web-based client program for searching and retrieving lexical, grammatical and textual data from the British National Corpus (BNC). It relies on the BNC server program, SARA, to provide a convenient interface between the user and the rich variety of annotated text in the 100-million word BNC. Thanks to its integration of MySQL, a very fast SQL-database server, BNCweb is able to extend the functionality of SARA. It thus offers a whole range of additional features for corpus analysis, such as:

    - distribution of the query result over various metatextual categories - very flexible collocation analysis - tag sequence search (for retrieving grammatical patterns) - sort - user-definable frequency lists (restricted e.g. to certain patterns, POS-tags) - etc.

    BNCweb can be accessed by several users at the same time - performance will vary according to your hardware set-up. At Zurich University, we have had 20 concurrent users without experiencing a major slow-down of the system. Of course, BNCweb can also be used on a stand-alone computer (i.e. with the web-browser and web-server on the same machine).

    Please consult the BNCweb homepage ( for more detailed information about the individual features. An extensive manual is also available.


    BNCweb is now available for non-commercial use. You can order your own copy for a shipping and handling fee of 30 Euro. (No restrictions apply as to the number of installations or users per institution.) This fee includes notification of future upgrades and some basic support by e-mail. For more extensive support, special conditions apply. Further information can be found at

    ***System and Installation Requirements***

    BNCweb requires no special installation procedure or client program *on the part of the end user* - any web-browser (under any kind of operating system) can be used to access the BNC via the internet or a local area network.

    On the server side, a BNCweb installation requires:

    - a UNIX server (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X) - a full installation of the BNC World Edition--see - some additional UNIX tools (e.g. MySL, Perl) In its current version (2.0), BNCweb is exclusively compatible with he BNC World Edition. Users with an installation of the first elease of the BNC will have to purchase a copy of the BNC World dition before being able to use BNCweb. The BNCweb team: Hans Martin Lehmann, Sebastian Hoffmann and Peter Schneider (all Zurich University) e-mail:

    -- Sebastian Hoffmann Englisches Seminar der Univ. Z�rich Plattenstrasse 47 CH-8032 Z�rich Fax: +41-1-634 4908