Past Research at the Survey of English Usage  

The Leverhulme Project 

The Leverhulme Project was devised to investigate the patterns of clause relationships in spoken and written English, and to determine the dominant patterns. An important component of the research was to explore the notion of complexity in clause relationships, an issue on which there has been some dispute in recent years. Linguists differ as to whether the spoken or the written language is more complex.   

For our research we used a corpus of just over 89,000 words from the British Component of the International Corpus of English. The Leverhulme subcorpus was made up of the following categories: 

    Conversations, broadcast discussions, unscripted monologues 

    Personal letters, popular witing, academic writing

The project ended in 1995, and has resulted in a number of publications: 

Greenbaum, Sidney & Gerald Nelson (1995) 'Clause Relationships in Spoken and Written English', Functions of Language 2, 1-21. 

Greenbaum, Sidney & Gerald Nelson (1995) 'Nuclear and Peripheral Clauses in Speech and Writing', Studies in Anglistics, eds. Gunnel Melchers & Beatrice Warren, 181-190. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.. 

Greenbaum, Sidney & Gerald Nelson (1996) 'Positions of adverbial clauses in British English', World Englishes 15, 69-81. 

Greenbaum, Sidney, Gerald Nelson, & Michael Weitzman (1996) 'Complement clauses in English', Using Corpora for Language Research, eds. Jenny Thomas & Mick Short, 76-91. London: Longman. 

Greenbaum, Sidney & Gerald Nelson (1998) 'Elliptical clauses in spoken and written English', The Clause in English, eds Peter Collins and David Lee, 111-126. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


The London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English

The Survey of Spoken English was established at the University of Lund in 1975 by Professor Jan Svartvik. It contains the 100 spoken texts (500,000 words) from the Survey Corpus in a reduced transcription and without grammatical analysis, 13 of the texts having been processed at the Survey in the late 1980s. The London-Lund corpus is available on CD-ROM through ICAME.

This page last modified 28 January, 2021 by Survey Web Administrator.