Is there a core general vocabulary? : introducing the New General Service List

Brezina, Vaclav and Gablasova, Dana (2015) Is there a core general vocabulary? : introducing the New General Service List. Applied Linguistics, 36 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 0142-6001

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The current study presents a New General Service List (new-GSL), which is a result of robust comparison of four language corpora (LOB, BNC, BE06, and EnTenTen12) of the total size of over 12 billion running words. The four corpora were selected to represent a variety of corpus sizes and approaches to representativeness and sampling. In particular, the study investigates the lexical overlap among the corpora in the top 3,000 words based on the average reduced frequency (ARF), which is a measure that takes into consideration both frequency and dispersion of lexical items. The results show that there exists a stable vocabulary core of 2,122 items (70.7%) among the four corpora. Moreover, these vocabulary items occur with comparable ranks in the individual wordlists. In producing the new-GSL, the core vocabulary items were combined with new items frequently occurring in the corpora representing current language use (BE06 and EnTenTen12). The final product of the study, the new-GSL, consists of 2,494 lemmas and covers between 80.1 and 81.7 per cent of the text in the source corpora.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Applied Linguistics
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© Oxford University Press 2013 This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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?? linguistics and languagelanguage and linguisticscommunicationdiscipline-based research ??
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Deposited On:
12 Feb 2014 09:03
Last Modified:
29 Nov 2023 00:16