Brown corpus: Corpus of American English

The Brown corpus (full name  Brown University Standard Corpus of Present-Day American English) was the first text corpus of American English. The original corpus was published in 1963–1964 by W. Nelson Francis and Henry Kučera (Department of Linguistics, Brown University Providence, Rhode Island, USA).

The corpus consists of 1 million words (500 samples of 2000+ words each) of running text of edited English prose printed in the United States during the year 1961 and it was revised and amplified in 1979.

Brown family corpus

This is an extended corpus of the Brown corpus which includes also the Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen Corpus (LOB), Brown’s British English counterpart, as well as Frown and FLOB, the 1990s equivalents of Brown and LOB. The corpus consists of 6 million words in American and British English.

Part-of-speech tagset and lemmatization

The Brown corpus is part-of-speech tagged with the following English Penn Treebank tagset summary indicating the part of speech and grammatical category. The corpus is also available with PoS tags from the CLAWS version 7 tagset summary. The corpus texts contain lemmatization when each word form from the corpus is assigned to its base form (lemma).

Tools to work with the Brown corpus

A complete set of tools is available to work with the Brown corpus online (without registration) to generate:

  • word sketch – English collocations categorized by grammatical relations
  • thesaurus – synonyms and similar words for every word
  • keywords – terminology extraction of one-word and multi-word units
  • word lists – lists of English nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. organized by frequency
  • n-grams – frequency list of multi-word units
  • concordance – examples in context
  • text type analysis – statistics of metadata in the corpus


The access to the corpus is freely available for research.

A Standard Corpus of Present-Day Edited American English, for use with Digital Computers (Brown). 1964, 1971, 1979. Compiled by W. N. Francis and H. Kučera. Brown University. Providence, Rhode Island.

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