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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Proceedings of the Corpus Lingistics Conference CL2009, University of Liverpool, UK, 20-23 July 2009
Place Liverpool

Open Access


The present paper reports on work in progress on aspects of diachronic change in German multi-word sequences (MWS) over the 20th century. Results presented aim to shed light on the extent and speed of MWS change in language use. The data presented here are taken from the Swiss Text Corpus, a 20-million-word diachronic corpus of the Swiss variety of written Standard German. Frequent trigrams were extracted from different time periods and compared. The extent of change in the data over 100 years was comparable to variation found on average between texts of different genres; the degree of variation between consecutive time periods was only slightly larger than that between different texts of the same period, suggesting a moderate speed of change. The investigation also revealed that corpus size influences the proportion of trigrams shared between different texts.