BNC Baby is a collection of corpora and software designed to demonstrate the full potential of corpus linguistics in the teaching of English language and literature.
BNC Baby can be orderded through the University Shop
What's on the disk
The BNC-Baby disk (second edition) contains:
- Full XML text of BNC-Baby
four million words in total, extracted from
the British National Corpus — a unique 100 million word snapshot of
British English at the end of the twentieth century, together with detailed
documentation of the corpus design and contents, and demonstration
materials for using it in English language teaching.
- The BNC Sampler
two million words in total, extracted from the original BNC
edition, and converted to XML format. These texts were all hand-tagged
and corrected during production of the BNC.
- A Standard Corpus of Present Day Edited American English
original Brown corpus, converted to XML, with POS tagging
a new search and retrieval program for use with this — or any other — XML corpus
The CD comes preconfigured for installation on a Microsoft Windows platform, and the software included on it will only function on that platform. A platform-independent version of Xaira is now available from our site on source forge.
The corpora included on the CD can be read on any platform, and may be processed using any XML-aware software.
You can copy one or more of the
corpora from the CD to your
hard disk, and access them from there, which will usually give
Martin Wynne is currently writing a suite of practical exercises demonstrating how to use BNC Baby
in the teaching of English Grammar. The full suite will be available
online from http://www.xaira.org/exercises,
but some samples are included on the CD.
The BNC Baby Reference Manual describes the corpus and its
markup. It is available on the CD both in HTML and in PDF.
Xaira and Xaira Tools both have built in Help files. For more
information and tutorials see the Xaira development site.
Information about the original Brown Corpus is available from the
ICAME at the University of Bergen. A copy of the original User
Manual is included on the CD.
The British National Corpus was originally created and is owned by a Consortium whose
members are: Oxford University Press;
Pearson Educational Ltd;
Oxford University Computing Services;
UCREL, Lancaster University;
British Library Research and Development Centre.
Creation of the British National Corpus was originally funded by the
UK Department of Trade and Industry and the Science and Engineering
Research Council under grant number IED4/1/2184 (1991-1994) within the
DTI/SERC Joint Framework for Information Technology. Additional
funding was provided by the British Library and the British
BNC Baby was designed and constructed by Ylva Berglund
and Martin Wynne of the Oxford Text
Xaira was designed and developed by Lou Burnard and Tony Dodd for
the Research Technologies
Service of Oxford University. It is copyright by the Chancellor
Masters and Scholars of Oxford University. An open-source version of the
system is currently under development, with funding from the Mellon
Terms and Conditions
The Data and the Software included on this disk is protected by United
Kingdom copyright laws, international treaty provisions, and other applicable
national laws. The owners of the copyright retain all rights not expressly
granted. By making use of the Data on your system you indicate your acceptance
of the terms and conditions relating to the British National Corpus, stated
below. If you do not accept any of
these terms and conditions, you must delete the Software and Data from your
system and dispose of this disk.
Licence to use the British National Corpus Baby Edition
This document is a legal agreement between You ("the Licensee") and the
British National Corpus Consortium ("the Licensor"), as legal owner of the
British National Corpus, which is a UK-registered trademark. Oxford
University Computing Services ("the Distributor") has been appointed
sole licensed Distributor of the British National Corpus and is authorised to
collect and enforce such agreements.
All usage of the Data included on this disk is governed by the terms
of a licence. The full text of this Licence is available from http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/docs/licence.pdf
The version of this licence applicable to the BNC Baby Edition is attached below. You will be required to read this Licence
and indicate that you accept its terms before making any further use
of the data or software on the CD
This licence does not authorise any use of the BNC other than that
which is explicitly permitted by the licence included herewith
Terms and Conditions Relating to the Brown Corpus
The version of the Brown Corpus included here was derived from the
version included in the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK 1.4) by Lou
Burnard. NLTK data
is licenced under the GNU Public
Licence and the version included here is therefore freely
distributable under the same licence.
Terms and Conditions Relating to the Xaira Software
You are authorised to install and use the software system included on
the disk subject to the following Terms and Conditions:
- Single User Licence The software may be installed on any
single machine for use by a single person. Neither the software nor
the Corpus may be copied to other machines, belonging to the same
or another person. The machine on which the software is installed may
not be used to provide network access to the Corpus using the
- Beta Test Agreement The software included here is under
active development. Your feedback on its usability and in
particular on any errors found in its operation is valuable to
us. Please register as a beta test user by visiting our web site.
- Limitation of liability The software included here is provided ``as is'', without warranty of any kind, express
or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of
merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement.
In no event shall the suppliers be liable for any claim, damages or
other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise,
arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or
other dealings in the software.
End User Licence Regarding the British
This Licence Agreement is made between you ("the Licensee") and the British
National Corpus Consortium (hereinafter termed the BNC Consortium)
WHEREAS the BNC Consortium has been created by a consortium of Oxford
University Press, Longman Group UK Limited, W & R Chambers Limited, The
University of Lancaster, The University of Oxford and The British Library,
WHEREAS the BNC Consortium has obtained permission from a number of text
providers (hereinafter termed the Text Providers) to include a sample of their
texts in the British National Corpus and
WHEREAS the Licensee is the end user in the manner detailed herein of
the British National Corpus Content which end user may be made up of
academic researchers or researchers in commercial institutions,
WHEREAS the Text Providers and the Software Developers have empowered the BNC
Consortium under a separate agreement to grant a non-exclusive licence to the
Licensee as detailed herein, NOW IT IS HEREBY MUTUALLY AGREED AS
(a) The "BNC Texts" is a collection of spoken and written texts held
on computer and selected for use in language-based teaching, research
and development (hereinafter termed the BNC Texts).
(b) The "BNC World Edition" is a version of the BNC Texts assembled into
consistent electronic format and enhanced with syntactic and semantic
annotations by the BNC Consortium (hereinafter termed the BNC Processed
(c) The "Licensee's Results" are the results of work performed by the Licensee
on the BNC World Edition in the course of research.
(d) The "Material" is collectively the BNC Processed Material and the Software
(e) the "Software" is a system for analysing and searching corpus data
named Xaira and owned by the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the
University of Oxford;
2 Terms of
the Licence Granted to the Licensee
(a) The BNC Consortium hereby grants according to the terms and conditions set
out herein and in consideration of the payments specified herein a
non-exclusive, non-transferable Licence to the Licensee to use the Material for
the purposes of linguistic research and/or the development of language
(b) Distribution of the BNC Processed Material is restricted to the
Licensee or in the event of the Licensee being an organisation, to the
Licensee's research group. This group is defined as consisting only
of those Licensee's employees whom the Licensee authorises to perform
the work using the BNC Material for the purposes described in 2a.
(c) Members of the said research group must not, except as herein provided,
copy, publish or otherwise give to any third party access to the whole or any
part of the Material. It is the responsibility of the Licensee to ensure that
the members of the said research group understand and abide by this
restriction, and to supervise their activities with respect to the BNC
Processed Material. Neither the Licensee nor members of the Licensee's said
research group may assign, transfer, lease, sell, rent, charge or otherwise
encumber the Material.
(d) The BNC Processed Material may be installed at the place or places
of work of the said research group. The place of work is defined as
the computing systems that the members of a research group normally
use to conduct their research activities. It can include both work
and home computers, and is not restricted to a particular machine or
building. Installation of the Software is subject to terms and conditions
stated in a separate licence agreement.
(e) Copies of the Material may be made for backup purposes, or for the
purposes of making data available to members of the research group
where so permitted but the Licensee shall ensure that the BNC
Consortium's copyright notice is reproduced on all copies or parts
thereof of the BNC Processed Material, and that the appropriate
Software Developer's copyright notice is reproduced on all copies or
parts thereof of the Software. Any such copies will be deemed to be
part of the Material. Copies for other purposes may not be made.
(f) There is no restriction on the use of the Licensee's Results except that
the Licensee may not publish in print or electronic form or exploit
commercially in any form whatsoever any extracts from the Material other
than those permitted under the fair dealings provision of copyright law.
(g) The BNC Consortium does not grant to the Licensee any rights
whatsover to reproduce the BNC Texts or use all or any part of the BNC
Texts in other products or services of any kind in any way other than
would be permitted under the fair dealings provision of copyright
5 Requirement to Exercise Professional Care
The Licensee and all members of its research group shall at all times exercise
professional care and judgement to avoid violation of this Agreement and shall
(a) maintain an up-to-date written record of all copies of the BNC
Processed Material distributed and/or created under this Agreement,
and of their location, and upon request and without unreasonable delay
produce such record to the BNC Consortium,
(b) regularly check on the status and use of the Material,
(c) make use of file protection and other data security measures to prevent
insofar as possible all and any unauthorised access,
(d) without prejudice to the foregoing take all such other steps necessary to
protect the intellectual property rights of the BNC Consortium and/or the
Text Providers and/or the Software Developers,
(e) generally maintain ongoing interest and involvement in the use and
distribution of the Material as provided for herein.
If the research project becomes inactive (for example, if a researcher changes
employment or takes a sabbatical leave), the Licensee must ensure that the
Material is erased from active computer files, or otherwise to protected until
such time as the project becomes active again.
6 Limitation of Liability
(a) The BNC Consortium gives no warranties and makes no representation that
the Material will be suitable for any particular purpose, or for use under any
specific conditions, notwithstanding that such purpose or conditions may have
been notified to or to otherwise be known to the BNC Consortium. The terms of
this agreement are in lieu of all warranties, conditions, terms, undertakings
and obligations implied by statute, common law, custom, trade, usage, course
of dealing and/or otherwise, all of which are hereby excluded to the fullest
extent permitted by law.
(b) The BNC Consortium accepts no responsibility for any technical limitations
of the Material.
(c) The BNC Consortium does not warrant that the operation of the Software
will be uninterrupted or free from errors.
(d) In no circumstances will the BNC Consortium be under any liability to the
Licensee for loss of profits, goodwill or any kind of consequential losses of
any nature even if such loss was foreseeable.
(e) The BNC Consortium shall accept no liability whatsoever in connection with
any damage to the tangible property of the Licensee resulting from the
negligence of the BNC Consortium, its employees, agents or
7 Rights reserved
All rights in the Material, including copyright, which are not granted to the
Licensee in this Agreement, are reserved.
(a) The BNC Consortium may terminate the Licence if the Licensee fails to pay
the Licence fee within Thirty days of the due date and may terminate the
Licence forthwith if the Licensee commits any material breach of this
(b) This Licence shall automatically terminate if and when a receiver,
administrative receiver or other encumbrancer takes possession of, or is
appointed over the whole or any substantial part of the Licensee's assets; or
if and when the Licensee enters into any arrangement with or for the benefit
of its creditors (including any voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency
On termination howsoever caused the Licensee shall destroy all copies of the
Material. A duly authorised officer of the Licensee shall verify in writing to
the BNC Consortium that the Licensee has complied with this obligation.
These terms will be governed by English law and English courts will have
If any provision of these termsis found to be illegal or unenforceable for any reason, including but not limited to any infringement of the provisions of any competition laws, then that provision or those provisions will be severed from the Agreement but the remaining provisions shall remain intact.
Headings to the Clauses hereof are for guidance only and are not to be taken
into account in the construction of this Agreement.
BNC Baby can be ordered from the University Shop