Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English

Item Name: Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English
Author(s): Anthony Kroch
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2020T16
ISBN: 1-58563-936-2
ISLRN: 868-644-188-709-3
Release Date: July 15, 2020
Member Year(s): 2020
DCMI Type(s): Software, Text
Data Source(s): fiction, journal entries, non-fiction, religious texts
Application(s): historical linguistics, machine learning, parsing, part of speech tagging
Language(s): English, Middle English (1100-1500)
Language ID(s): eng, enm
License(s): Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English Agreement
Online Documentation: LDC2020T16 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Kroch, Anthony. Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English LDC2020T16. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2020.


Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and consists of running texts and text samples of British English prose from the earliest Middle English documents (1100 CE) up to the period of the First World War (1914 CE). This data set contains three corpora covering traditionally recognized periods of English:

  • The Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English, second edition
  • The Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English
  • The Penn Parsed Corpus of Modern British English, second edition

Also included in this release are annotation guidelines and philological information for each corpus and the CorpusSearch 2 program, which allows users to search the data for words, word sequences and syntactic structure.

The Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English were designed for students and scholars of the history of English, especially the historical syntax of the language. They have also been used by computational linguists for domain adaptation. See the Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English homepage for more information about this project. Questions should be directed to beatrice AT sas DOT upenn DOT edu.


The texts are in three forms: plain text, part-of-speech tagged text, and syntactically annotated text. Annotations were manually reviewed for accuracy and consistency.

All data is encoded in UTF-8. The data files are presented as plain text, and all philological information as html. The parsed data are in Penn Treebank format.


Please view the following samples:


None at this time.


This corpus was constructed under the direction of Anthony Kroch. The work was conducted by Ann Taylor, Beatrice Santorini, and Ariel Diertani (formerly Lauren Delfs).

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