Freiburg Corpus of English Dialects (FRED)

FRED is a monolingual spoken dialect corpus consisting of full-length interviews with native speakers from England, Scotland, as well as (in its full version) Wales, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man. It reflects the 'traditional' varieties of BrE spoken in the second half of the 20th century. The data originate from so-called oral history projects where informants were interviewed to record their memories and life experiences. All texts are face-to-face conversations between (usually) one interviewer and one speaker in the latter's own home. Although the speakers knew they were being recorded, the familiar environment, the fact that the interviewers were native speakers themselves, and the interest expressed in their stories helped distract them from the situation and from their own linguistic behaviour. The corpus consists of audio recordings (wav format, available for most interviews in the full version and for all interviews in FRED-S) and orthographic transcripts (txt files).

Please note that the description of the corpus here on CoRD refers to FRED-S, a sampler version which contains only texts not subject to copyright restrictions.

Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Bernd Kortmann
Time of compilation: 2000–2005 (project group 'English Dialect Syntax from a Typological Perspective')
Size: 1,011,396 running words (full version 2,496,763, excl. interviewer utterances)
(word counts may vary depending on the definition of 'word'; the number given here includes truncations and false starts; hyphenated words and not-contractions were counted as one word; all other contractions (e.g. he 's going to school) were transcribed and counted as two words)
Language: English (British, Scottish, [Welsh, Manx] varieties)
Number of texts: 121 interviews/transcripts
Period: 1970–1999
Status: Completed in 2005
Released: FRED-S to be released on next ICAME CD
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant no. Ko 1181/1-3), 2000–2005
Project home page:

Reference line and Copyright

for full version: Freiburg Corpus of English Dialects, English Dialects Research Group, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

for FRED-S: Freiburg Corpus of English Dialects (Sampler), English Dialects Research Group, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg



Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt/ Nuria Hernández. 2007. Manual of Information to accompany the Freiburg Corpus of English Dialects Sampler (FRED-S). Freiburg: English Department, University of Freiburg. Online at

FRED full version:

Hernández, Nuria. 2006. User's Guide to FRED. Freiburg: English Department, University of Freiburg. Online at

Compilers (compilers, team members, student assistants)

Team members:

Bernd Kortmann (project supervisor)

Lieselotte Anderwald (assistant supervisor)

Tanja Herrmann, Lukas Pietsch, Susanne Wagner (research assistants: text collection and compilation, transcription, original markup)

Nuria Hernández, Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (research assistants: markup, transcription, digitisation of audio recordings, Benedikt Szmrecsanyi: homepage)

We want to thank the fieldworkers, archives, museums and libraries who have entrusted their data to us and made it possible to build this corpus.


The tape and MD copies of the original recordings are kept at Freiburg University, along with the documentation of the collection and compilation process. The transcripts are stored as text files; the recordings were digitised (slightly denoised but otherwise unaltered) and stored electronically in both wav and compressed mp3 format. Text and audio samples can be found on the project website currently at

The sampler version of the corpus, FRED-S, will be published on the next ICAME CD. Or you can email us to obtain FRED-S (

The full version of FRED is only available to researchers and visiting scholars at the University of Freiburg, due to copyright restrictions. Contact details: Chair Prof. Bernd Kortmann, English Department, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Rempartstr.15, 79098 Freiburg, Germany, phone +49-(0)761-203-3320, fax +49-(0)761-203-3330,

Associated projects

EDISYN (European Dialect Syntax Project)

ASIS (Syntactic Atlas of Northern Italy)

SAND (Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects)

Dialektsyntax des Schweizerdeutschen (Dialect Syntax of Swiss German)

SCANDIASYN (Scandinavian Dialect Syntax)

The Romani Morpho-Syntax (RMS) Database and Dialect Survey

Other links of interest:



CoRD Entry submitted on November 6, 2008 by Ms. Nuria Hernandez, Department of English Language, University of Freiburg.
Information for the entry was edited by Ms. Nuria Hernandez.