, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 209-226
Date: 10 Feb 2009

The WaCky wide web: a collection of very large linguistically processed web-crawled corpora

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Abstract

This article introduces ukWaC, deWaC and itWaC, three very large corpora of English, German, and Italian built by web crawling, and describes the methodology and tools used in their construction. The corpora contain more than a billion words each, and are thus among the largest resources for the respective languages. The paper also provides an evaluation of their suitability for linguistic research, focusing on ukWaC and itWaC. A comparison in terms of lexical coverage with existing resources for the languages of interest produces encouraging results. Qualitative evaluation of ukWaC versus the British National Corpus was also conducted, so as to highlight differences in corpus composition (text types and subject matters). The article concludes with practical information about format and availability of corpora and tools.