How do you cite a linguistics corpus?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

When you cite information found in a linguistics corpus—that is, a collection of texts used for linguistic analysis—follow the MLA format template. Usually the website associated with a corpus will give you the information necessary to construct a citation. For example, if you wanted to cite The Corpus of Contemporary American English, an online corpus compiled by Mark Davies, you might consult the page containing frequently asked questions, which has citation information for all the corpora he has compiled. The following provides an example of an in-text citation and a works-cited-list entry:

From The Corpus of Contemporary American English, which gathers usage information on American English from 1990 to 2017, we can determine that the word Anthropocene has a relatively recent origin, first appearing in 2005 (Davies).

Work Cited

Davies, Mark. The Corpus of Contemporary American English. 2008,