The York-Toronto-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose (YCOE)

Ann Taylor, Anthony Warner, Susan Pintzuk, Frank Beths
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
University of York
Heslington, York
England YO10 5DD
© 2003 University of York

Conditions of Use

The York-Toronto-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose (YCOE) is a 1.5 million word syntactically-annotated corpus. As a sister corpus to the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English (PPCME2), it uses the same form of annotation and is accessed by the same search engine, CorpusSearch. CorpusSearch is not included in this distribution. If you already own CorpusSearch you can search the YCOE with it; if not, instructions for obtaining it are given below.

We are very grateful to the following presses, organizations, and individuals who have generously allowed us to distribute without charge Old English texts of which they hold copyright: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Cambridge University Press, The Council of The Early English Text Society, The Modern Language Association of America, Oxford University Press, University of Toronto Press, Toronto Dictionary of Old English Project, Professor Denis Brearley (University of Ottawa), Dr. Julia Crick (University of Exeter), Executor of Professor J. Cross (University of Liverpool), Professor Thomas Hall (University of Illinois at Chicago), Professor Thomas D. Hill (Cornell University), Professor Hugh Magennis (Queens University Belfast), Professor Andy Orchard (University of Toronto). For permissions granted and details of texts, click here.

Users are reminded that many of the texts in the corpus are subject to copyright restrictions, and that citation or excerption from these texts will be subject to the normal requirements concerning copyright holders' permission. We hold copyright in the annotations, and freely grant users permission to reproduce the annotations in the course of non-commercial scholarly activity.

We would like to thank the following people and organizations for their support during this project: The Toronto Dictionary of Old English Project (Antonette di Paolo Healey, editor) for their generosity in allowing us to use their electronic versions of the Old English texts as the basis for our corpus and permission to distribute the same, as well as helpful advice. The English Arts and Humanities Research Board for the grant under which the corpus was annotated between 2000 and 2003 (B/RG/AN5907/APN9528); Professor Anthony Kroch and Dr. Beatrice Santorini (University of Pennsylvania) for helpful discussion of methodology during the project; Matti Rissanen and Merja Kytö of the Helsinki Corpus for allowing us to make use of their materials, and the Department of Language and Linguistics, University of York, which housed the project, for their support. We would also like to thank the University of Michigan Press for their permission to distribute a major proportion of the Toronto Corpus of Old English.

Directory structure and contents

What is included in the distribution

Getting started

How to set up and use the YCOE on your computer

YCOE Filenames

How YCOE filenames are constructed

Non-linguistic annotations within the text

How non-linguistic information is encoded

Text Information

Information about the texts included in the corpus

Part-of-Speech Annotation

Part-of-Speech Labels
Reference Manual

Syntactic Annotation

Syntactic Labels
YCOE Lite: A Beginner's Guide
Reference Manual

Index list of all labels

An alphabetic list of all the labels (part-of-speech and syntactic) used in the YCOE, with links to the documentation

Searching the Corpus

CorpusSearch Lite: A beginner's guide
Reference Manual
Quick Reference Page

Questions, comments, publications

Please direct any mail about the YCOE to We would appreciate receiving copies of (or at least details about) any publications which make use of the corpus. Questions or comments about CorpusSearch should be directed to

Considerable efforts have been made to find and correct errors in the YCOE, but we cannot guarantee that no errors remain. In legal terms, we are supplying the corpus without warranty. Please click here for the full legal disclaimer concerning the YCOE. Please send reports of any errors found in the texts or annotation, with a note of the locus and nature of the error, to Please remember, however, that the annotation system is intended to be a tool for searching, not a grammar of Old English syntax.

The CorpusSearch program was developed at the University of Pennsylvania by Beth Randall in collaboration with Anthony Kroch and Ann Taylor. Please direct all correspondence regarding CorpusSearch to