The purpose of the Centre for Corpus Research is to further the use of corpus analysis in research, teaching and learning. The Centre provides resources, facilities, and technical and scientific advice to members of staff, students, and visitors on a variety of issues concerning the study of textual data.
The University of Birmingham has been at the forefront of corpus linguistics, with the development of major corpora since the 1970s, including the 17 million word Birmingham Collection of English Text, developed in the 1980s, and the Bank of English, in the 1990s. Under the direction of John Sinclair, Birmingham hosted the Cobuild project, and developed corpus lexicography in the 1980s.
Theories derived from Corpus Linguistics are changing our view of language – including grammar and phraseology - and corpus methodologies underpin much current work in applied linguistics, discourse studies, text analysis, child language research, workplace discourse and forensic linguistics. A particular strength at Birmingham is the interface between corpus linguistic research, discourse analysis and language learning and teaching.
The heart of the centre consists of a computer suite which provides various computer software and language resources to all staff and research students within the School. The Centre also offers training workshops, and organises seminars and conferences on corpus research and applications, open to people outside the University of Birmingham. We also run training workshops and do consultancy work for outside clients.
Apart from the computing facilities, we offer advice to staff and research students who would like to know more about corpus research in general or how to use a specific resource or tool. Throughout the year, we run short courses, introductory sessions and individual consultations.
The Director of the Centre is Paul Thompson and the Technical Director is Neil Millar.