[Ads-l] Difficulty with new BYU corpora search syntax

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Mon Jan 21 04:48:31 UTC 2019

OK, I've found one workaround: You can access the pre-May 2016 interface 
by adding "/old" to the URL, like this:


However, I'd still like to know if there's a way to use the new 
interface and still be able to do a search like the one I'm describing.

On 1/20/2019 11:20 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> I've discovered to my dismay that the BYU Corpora's latest 
> simplifications to their search syntax have decreased their 
> functionality...at least as far as I can tell. I'm hoping someone here 
> will know the proper workaround.
> I'm looking into the frequency of the verb 'witness' taking a 
> participial complement ('witnessed them doing') versus a base-form 
> complement ('witnessed them do'). To ask for the verb 'witness' plus a 
> pronoun is now done like this:
> To ask for a following verb, you do this:
> To ask for a specific form of a verb, such as a gerund/participle, you 
> used to be able to do it like this:
>    WITNESS_v PRON _v?g*
> or like this if you wanted the base form:
>    WITNESS_v PRON _vv0*
> However, when you use these POS tags preceded by an underscore, 
> instead of the all-caps POS tags--even if you put a space before the 
> underscore--the search engine interprets it to mean a restriction on 
> the previous element. So in this case, it would be looking for 
> pronouns that are also gerund/participles or base-form verbs, and find 
> nothing. So what I need is one of those all-caps versions of the parts 
> of speech, like maybe VERBING or something, but as far as I've been 
> able to tell so far, they don't exist.
> Thanks for any suggestions!
> -Neal
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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