Law & Corpus Linguistics

2022 Conference

The seventh annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference (February 3-4) 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.

Call for Papers:
7th Annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference

Proposal Deadline: October 29, 2021, 23:59 MDT


Event Date: February 3-4, 2022

Location: Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Organization: Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University Law School will host the Seventh Annual Law & Corpus Linguistics Conference in Provo, UT on February 3-4, 2022.

Call for Papers:

Proposals are invited for individual papers and panels. We are open to submissions on a broad range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • applications of corpus linguistics to constitutional, statutory, contract, patent, trademark, probate, administrative, and criminal law
  • philosophical, normative, and pragmatic commentary on the use of corpus linguistics in the law
  • triangulation between corpus linguistics and other empirical methods in legal interpretation
  • corpus linguistic analysis of the law of countries other than the United States
  • the relationship between corpus linguistics and pragmatics (e.g. implicature, presupposition, sociolinguistic context)
  • best practices in corpus design and corpus linguistic methods in legal settings

The proposal deadline is October 29, 2021. Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 750 words and complete contact information for presenters. Please send proposals to

Event Date: February 3-4, 2022

Location: Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

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.