Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (DECTE)

The Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (DECTE), a corpus of dialect speech from the North East of England, with a particular focus on Tyneside.

DECTE is an amalgamation of the existing Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (NECTE) created between 2001 and 2005 (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/necte),  and NECTE2, an ongoing collection of interviews conducted in the North East of England since 2007. It thereby constitutes a rare example of a publicly available on-line corpus presenting dialect material spanning five decades.

The DECTE website is designed for researchers. However,the project that created it also includes an interactive website, The Talk of the Toon. This version integrates topics and narratives of regional, cultural significance in the corpus, with relevant still and moving images. It is designed by the DECTE project team in consultation with Netskills, Newcastle and the project’s Advisory Board, primarily for use in schools/ museums and by the general public.

Project leader: Professor Karen P. Corrigan
Time of compilation: 2000 (when funding was awarded for the first phase of this project as NECTE)–present
Language: English
Number of texts/samples: Currently, 99 interviews, recording 160 speakers in 804,266 words of text and 71 hours 45 minutes and 43 seconds of audio
Period: 1960s-2000s
Released: 2005 as NECTE and 2012 as DECTE

Funding: DECTE was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC, http://www.ahrc.ac.uk) under the Digital Equipment and Database Enhancement for Impact (DEDEFI) scheme described at: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/FundingOpportunities/Pages/dedefi.aspx.

Reference line and Copyright

The Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (DECTE), should be referenced as:

Corrigan, Karen P., Buchstaller, I., Mearns, A.J. and Moisl, H.L. (2012) The Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English. Newcastle University. <http://research.ncl.ac.uk/decte/index.htm>

DECTE is copyrighted in its entirety by Karen P. Corrigan (Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project) and her Co-Investigators, Isabelle Buchstaller and Hermann Moisl. Permission from one of the copyright holders must be obtained before any part of DECTE is reproduced in any form.


A full set of documentation and a manual is available at: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/decte/documentation.htm




DECTE is an XML corpus consisting of files that conforms to the P5 version of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines.

DECTE is available free of charge via a Creative Commons licence for non-commercial use by individuals or groups that can demonstrate a bona fide interest. DECTE can be obtained from the School of English Literary and Linguistic Studies at Newcastle University. The DECTE access request form should be downloaded and returned by post or email to:

  • Postal address: The Newcastle Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Percy Building, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom.
  • Email: k.p.corrigan@ncl.ac.uk

Successful applicants will be sent a user ID and password for access to the download area of the DECTE website. It should, however, be noted that DECTE as a whole is quite large, particularly on account of the audio files, and that download of the entire corpus may be impractical. We therefore offer applicants the option of receiving DECTE by post on DVD.


CoRD Entry by Emanuela Costea.

Entry edited and approved by Prof. Karen Corrigan.