Using COHA


COHA: Corpus of Historical American English

Note: don't get too stressed if there's one or two questions that you can't get. Probably nobody will get all 17/17. Just do the best you can.

Enter the word in green into the WORD(S) field (or collocates, for #13-17). Other settings are indicated in blue. Also, click RESET between each search.

1. Charts

  • Q1: In what decade was lasso the most common?
  • Q2: In what decade was slaveholder* the most common?
  • Q3: In what year was rocket the most common? (Click on decade heading for years)
  • Q4: In what year was flapper* the most common? (Click on decade heading for years)

2. Tables / List

  • Q5: What is #3 of the most frequent words with *heart* in the middle (#6 = sweetheart)
  • Q6: What is #3 of the most frequent passives with a form of [get] [vvn*] (get + a past participle) (#6 = got married)

3. KWIC

  • Q7: Look for concordance lines with [end] up (use KWIC). What are the two most common colors for the words to the right of [end] up?
  • Q8: Look for [fathom].[v*] (all forms of fathom as a verb) and sort by the words to the left (click on L). Anything strange/special about these words to the left?

4. By decade

  • Q9: What is #3 of the most frequent words with *heart* in the middle in the 1820s-1850s (#6 = heartless) (Note: uncheck the box in SECTIONS [] SHOW).
  • Q10: What is #5 of the most frequent passives with a form of [get] [vvn*] (get + a past participle) in the 1880s-1910s (#6 = getting married)  (Note: uncheck the box in SECTIONS [] SHOW).

5. Comparing sections

  • Q11: What is #3 of the most frequent adjectives with *heart*.[j*] in the 1840s-1880s, compared to 1970s-2000s (#6 = simple-hearted).  And #3 in the 1970s-2000s (#6 = heart-attack)?
  • Q12: What is #3 of the most frequent passives with a form of [get] [vvn*] (get + a past participle) in the 1840s-1880s, compared to 1970s-2000s (#6 = get entangled). And the 1970s-2000s (#6 = gotten married)?

6. Collocates

  • Q13: What is #2 of the most common adjectives ( [j*] in the collocates field) before (2/0) all forms of [chair].[n*]? (#4 = wooden). No need to show frequency by sections.
  • Q14: What about #3, when it's SORTed by [RELEVANCE] and MINimum frequency = 5? (#4 = ladder-backed) (don't RESET between Q14 and Q15)
  • Q15: What is #3 of the most common nouns [nn*] after (0/4) all forms of [fix].[v*] as a verb? (#4 = face). What meaning did this have in the early 1800s, which is less common now? (No need to answer here; will discuss in class)
  • Q16: What is #3 of the most common verbs [vv*] before (4/0) heart in the 1870s-1910s? (#6 = knew). (Note: uncheck the box in SECTIONS [] SHOW)
  • Q17: Look for all words (*) near German (4/4). In what decades was West most common as a collocate (frequency = 391)? What about Italian as a collocate (frequency = 127)?