the SiBol project

The SiBol/Port project (originally SiBol) was set up in 2005 by a group of English linguistics researchers from the Universities of Siena and Bologna in Italy – “SiBol” being a portmanteau of the two University names. These were Alan Partington, Alison Duguid, Anna Marchi, Caroline Clark, Charlotte Taylor, and John Morley.

The aim of the project is to study developments in very recent English language usage but also in social, cultural and political attitudes over recent times, as reflected in language. The term Modern-Diachronic Corpus-assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS) was coined to denominate, in general, this kind of study.

The SiBol / Port suite of corpora, therefore, currently consists of:

  • SiBol 93 containing the entire output of the GuardianTimesTelegraph and the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph for 1993.
  • SiBol 05 containing the entire output of the GuardianTimesTelegraph and the ObserverSunday Times and Sunday Telegraph for 2005.
  • Port 2010 containing the entire output of the GuardianTimesTelegraph for 2010 (compiled by Charlotte Taylor, at the time at the University of Portsmouth)
  • SiBol 13 containing the entire output of the GuardianTimesTelegraphDaily MailDaily MirrorTimes of IndiaNew York TimesWashington TimesSouth China Morning PostDaily News EgyptGulf News (UAE) and This Day Lagos.
  • SiBol 21 containing the entire output of the Guardia, Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun, Daily Mirror, Evening StandardsI, Metro (compiled by Charlotte Taylor - University of Sussex)

The corpora are now available to the wider research community through SketchEngine.

The SiBol Group was responsible for founding the now biannual international conference in Corpora and Discourse Studies:


Members of the SiBol Group participated in the following inter-university collaborative projects:

  • Integrated and united? A quest for citizenship in an “Ever Closer Europe”, financed by the European Union within the scope of the 6th Framework Programme. Main output
  • Corpora and discourse: A quantitative and qualitative linguistic analysis of political and media discourse on the conflict in Iraq in 2003, a national research project (PRIN) involving the universities of Siena, Bologna, and LUISS in Rome, financed by the Italian ministry for Education (MIUR). Main output