LINGUIST List 21.842

Thu Feb 18 2010

FYI: COCA Frequency Lists of English

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <>

        1.    Mark Davies, COCA Frequency Lists of English

Message 1: COCA Frequency Lists of English
Date: 17-Feb-2010
From: Mark Davies <>
Subject: COCA Frequency Lists of English
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We have recently placed online free frequency lists that are based on the400 million word Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), which isthe only large, up-to-date, genre-balanced corpus of American English thatis publicly available. The free lists contain the top 5000 lemmas inAmerican English, along with part of speech and frequency, and they can bedownloaded from:

In addition to these lists, the site has other word lists that contain:

- Frequency-ranked lists of the top 20,000 lemmas/words in English

- 20-30 collocates (nearby words) for each entry, which give valuableinsight into meaning and usage (up to 300 collocates per word are possiblein some versions)

- Synonyms (for most words), which give additional insight into meaning

- Indications of genre variation (e.g. more frequent in spoken, fiction, oracademic)

- Other frequency and distributional information

Three examples - from among 20,000 in the expanded frequency lists - arethe following (note that there is no formatting in this Linguist List posting):

1421 blow v[noun] wind, whistle, air, nose, smoke, breeze, face, hair, kiss, head,window, horn, candle, mind, storm [misc] away, through, across[out] candle, window, breath, air, wind, smoke, knee, tire, match [up]building, plot, bomb, plane, car, bridge, wind, threaten [off] steam, head,roof, leg** whoosh, gust, waft, puff || move, propel, drive, carry27254 | 0.94 F

10129 shimmering j[noun] light, water, heat, hair, sun, sea, surface, silver, glass, wave,color [misc] blue, white, across, above, green, golden, wear, red, dark,rise, yellow, beyond** iridescent, sparkling, shining, gleaming, glistening, glittering1555 | 0.90 F

18669 pathos n[adj] Greek, tragic, deep, full, human, genuine, pure, sympathetic, comic,final [noun] humor, tragedy, comedy, sense, appeal, suffering, emotion,ethos, scene [verb] evoke, reflect, avoid, generalize, capture, experience,arouse** sadness, bleakness, despair, tragedy, anguish473 | 0.90 A

For more information on these frequency lists, please visit

Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography; Text/Corpus Linguistics

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