A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 (CED)


A Corpus of English Dialogues 1560-1760 (CED)


Kytö, Merja; Culpeper, Jonathan


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Editorial Practice


Plain text

OTA keywords

Linguistic corpora

LC keywords

English language--Early modern, 1500-1700

  • designation: CollectionText
  • size: 5 files : ca. 7.4 MB
Creation Date



The Corpus of English Dialogues comprises dialogues from 1560 to 1760. Dialogues are of prime interest to the study of the development of English because interactive face-to-face communication has been found to play an important role in language change. To give a picture of spoken interaction of the past, as mediated through written records, the CED contains 1.2 million million words drawn from both texts which include constructed dialogue and those which purportedly record language from authentic speech situations; of the 1.2 million words, some 870,000 words comprise direct speech. There are five text-types in the CED. The text-types representative of constructed dialogue are drama comedy, didactic works (language manuals and other handbooks) and fiction; the text-types representative of authentic dialogue are trial proceedings and witness depositions. In addition, a small group of miscellaneous dialogic texts is included in the collection. The corpus texts have been coded to indicate e.g. foreign language, narration, compilers' comments, editorial comments and emendations, and font changes. Each corpus text is introduced by a number of parameters giving information on the period in question, text-type, name of the text, name of the author (when applicable), and contemporaneity of the source text and the printed version used. The CED comprises 177 text files and is distributed in plain text files in two versions: with no annotations and with XML markup. A guide (a .pdf file) to the corpus accompanies the corpus files and is also available in hard copy.

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