Some time ago, a colleague at an institution I used to work at gave a presentation to the faculty on using corpora queries. She used [I think a website, though it could have been a software] where you could do searches similar to those you can perform on Google Ngrams but with more complex queries.

For example, on Google Ngrams, you can search for all of the instances in print of the phrase "most notably" but in her programme, you could search for all of the instances of "'most' followed by an adverb" (I don't know the proper language for these searches).

Does anybody know what that website/software might have been?

  • 1
    You can do these kind of queries on the Google Ngram page, but you might also try the BYU COCA site's interface, which has various corpora (corpus.byu.edu/coca/help/syntax_e.asp). Mar 4 '16 at 20:28
  • Thanks, Jeremy. I suppose I just need to learn better the language for the queries. As a test, I've tried punching into Ngrams a few queries I've found from other people (copy paste) and none of them have worked, but I wouldn't know whether they were correct or not anyway.
    – Karl
    Mar 4 '16 at 20:35
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    Well, here’s an example. books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=most+*_ADV&year_start=1950&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share= You should read this page, then: books.google.com/ngrams/info# (Edit: looks like comments don’t love these links. I’ll make an answer instead.) Mar 4 '16 at 20:40
  • Thanks again, Jeremy. You're a star. I look forward to accepting your answer!
    – Karl
    Mar 4 '16 at 20:43

For Google Ngram, here’s the example you mention: (most _ADV). More help is given on the info page: Google Ngram syntax guide. For more serious work and various corpora, I’d start with the BYU COCA site: BYU syntax guide.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for. I had for some time suspected that it was Google Ngrams that she had used but had never been able to make it do what I wanted. The second source you have linked to is also superb. It's going to take me a long time to learn how to properly use these tools, but I'm excited to do so. Thanks, Jeremy.
    – Karl
    Mar 4 '16 at 20:45

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