Law & Corpus Linguistics

2021 Conference

The sixth annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference (February 5) brings together legal scholars from across various substantive areas of scholarship, prominent corpus linguistics scholars, and judges who have employed corpus linguistics analysis in their decisions. Registration open now

Call for Papers:
6th Annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference

Contact: Kyra Nelson,

Event Date: February 5, 2021

Location: Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Organization: Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University Law School will host the sixth Annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference on February 5, 2021. With the safety of our attendees in mind, this year’s conference will be held virtually.

Keynote speakers will include Doctor Tammy Gales of Hofstra University.

Click here for the full conference schedule.

Please note all times are in Mountain Standard Time.

Event Date: February 5, 2021

Location: Virtual, Zoom

Organization: Brigham Young University


Law & Corpus Linguistics Project

The Project

BYU Law’s Law & Corpus Linguistics was initially inspired by Stephen C. Mouritsen’s BYU Law Review Note, The Dictionary Is Not a Fortress: Definitional Fallacies and a Corpus-Based Approach to Plain Meaning, (2010). As various scholars began to apply corpus linguistic to legal questions, BYU’s Linguistics Professor Mark Davies’ well known Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) proved invaluable.

Following the development of formal Law & Corpus Linguistics course at the Law School in the Fall of 2013, the BYU Law Library started providing limited support for students in the class and faculty applying corpus linguistics to their scholarship such as Gordon Smith.

Research Platform

James Philips, a visiting assistant professor in Winter of 2015 , envisioned the creation of a simplified research platform and the creation of a Corpus of Founding Era American English (COFEA). Initial texts were gathered throughout 2015 and 2016 and in the Fall of 2016 the initial design of the Law & Corpus Linguistics Platform commenced.