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Researchers can eavesdrop on developing conversations

Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press have published what they are calling the largest publicly available bank of transcribed spoken conversations, allowing researchers to study how language evolves.

The Spoken British National Corpus 2014 includes 11.5 million words collected over a four-year period by the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) at Lancaster University, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The data could form the basis of research into the way different social groups talk, look at variations related to gender, age or geographic location, or investigate how the British public discusses particular topics, the ESRC said in a statement on 25 September.

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