Law review articles using or discussing corpus-based linguistic analysis

Briefs using or discussing corpus-based linguistic analysis

Presentations using or discussing corpus-based linguistic analysis

Websites for using corpus-based linguistic analysis

Media coverage on applying linguistics to legal analysis

Cases using or discussing corpus-based linguistic analysis (in chronological order)

In the Matter of the Adoption of Baby E.Z., 266 P.3d 702, 715-32 (Utah 2011) (Justice Thomas Rex Lee, concurring)

State v. Rasabout, 356 P.3d 1258, 1271-90 (Utah 2015) (Associate Chief Justice Thomas Rex Lee, concurring)

People v. Harris, 885 N.W.2d 832 (Mich. 2016) (Opinion for the court by Justice Brian K. Zahra) (Justice Stephen J. Markman, concurring) (both opinions use data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, but come to opposite conclusions as to whether statute prohibiting admission of "information" provided by a law enforcement officer under threat of employment sanction applied to providing false information)

Fire Ins. Exch. v. Oltmanns, 416 P.3d 1148, 1163 n.9 (Utah 2018) (Justice Christine M. Durham, concurring)

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2206, 2235, 2238-39 (2018) (Justice Clarence Thomas, J. dissenting)

Wilson v Safelite Group, Inc.,930 F.3d 429 (6th Cir. 2019)
-- Concurring opinion by Judge Amul R. Thapur, 930 F.3d at 438-45 ("corpus linguistics is a powerful tool for discerning how the public would have understood a statute's text at the time it was enacted")
-- Concurring opinion by Judge Jane B. Stranch, 930 F.3d at 445-48 ("the use of corpus linguistics is a difficult and complex exercise ... I would leave this task to qualified experts, not to untrained judges and lawyers. See, e.g., Brief for Professor Clark D. Cunningham, et al. as Amicus Curiae on Behalf of Neither Party, In Re: Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, No. 18-2486 (4th Cir. Jan. 29, 2019) (discussing use of corpus linguistics by professor of applied linguistics to help determine the meaning of "emoluments" during the founding era).” )

Caesars Entertainment Corp. v. Int'l Union of Operating Engineers, 932 F.3d 91, 95 (3rd Cir. 2019) (using data from Corpus of Historical American English regarding use of "previously") (Opinion for the court by Judge Thomas Hardiman)

State of Idaho v. Lantis, 447 P.3d 875, 880-81 (Idaho 2019) (Opinion for the court by Justice G. Richard Bevan) (using data from Corpus of Historical American English regarding use of "disturbing the peace" in 1887)

Richards v. Cox, 2019 UT 57, 450 P.3d 1074, 1079-81 (Utah 2019) (using Corpus of Contemporary English and Corpus of Historical American English  to investigate meaning of “employment” in Utah Constitution) (Opinion for an unanimous court by Justice Constandinos  Himonas)(Concurring opinion by Justice Thomas Rex Lee approving use of corpus linguistics)

Wright v. Spaulding, 939 F.3d 695, 700 n.1 (6th Cir. 2019) (Opinion by Judge Amul R. Thapar for the court affirming denial of habeas petition) ("We asked the parties to file supplemental briefs on the original meaning of Article III’s case-or-controversy requirement, specifically whether the corpus of Founding-era American English helped illuminate that meaning. A team of corpus linguistics researchers submitted two amicus briefs as well. We are grateful to both the parties and the amici for their hard work.”)

In re Trump, 958 F. 3d 274, 286 (4th Cir. 2020) (en banc) (citing Brief for Professor Clark D. Cunningham & Professor Jesse Egbert as Amici Curiae Supporting Neither Party also published on the Social Science Research Network at,

Bright v Sorensen, 463 P.3d 626, 638-39 (Supreme Court of Utah 2020) (meaning of "foreign object" in context of medical procedures; corpus evidence from News on the Web (NOW) Corpus was inconclusive)

Salt Lake City Corporation v. Haik, 466 P.3d 178, 184 n. 29 (Supreme Court of Utah 2020) (meaning of "inhabitant" in Art XI, Sec. 6 of state constitution; Salt Lake City submitted ratification-era corpus data. Court found this data "unnecessary" for reaching its decision but did state "we encourage parties to use corpus linguistics when resolving a contest between competing senses of a statutory term and added as guidance "parties should limit their inquiry to the relevant time period" and "we encourage parties to thoroughly examine the “concordance lines” of text produced by a corpus linguistics search and provide a meaningful analysis of the results.")

State v Misch, 256 A.3d 519 (Vt. 2021) (meaning of "bear arms" in Vermont constitution) (citing D. Baron, Corpus Evidence Illuminates the Meaning of Bear Arms, 46 Hastings Const. L.Q. 509, 510 (2019), J. Jones, Comment: The “Weaponization” of Corpus Linguistics: Testing Heller’s Linguistic Claims, 34 BYU J. Pub. L. 135, 161 (2020), J. Blackman & J. Phillips,Corpus Linguistics and the Second Amendment, H.L. Rev. Blog (Aug. 7, 2018), https:// )

Facebook v Duguid, 141 S.Ct. 1163, 1174 (2021) (Alito, J. concurring) (suggesting that corpus linguistics could be used to test the strength and validity of interpretive canons).

Jones v Bonta, 34 F.4th 704 (9th Cir. 2022), vacated and remanded, 47 F.4th 1124 (2022)
-- Order for supplemental briefing to be filed in 21 days on whether corpus linguistics helps inform the determination of the original public meaning of 2nd amendment (March 26, 2021)
34 F.4th at 714 n.6 ("Corpus linguistics “is a powerful tool for discerning how the public would have understood a statute's text at the time it was enacted,” and “[c]ourts should consider adding this tool to their belts.” [Citing Wilson v. Safelite Grp., Inc., 930 F.3d 429, 439-40 (6th Cir. 2019) (Thapar, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment)] We asked the parties to file supplemental briefing addressing in part the applicability of corpus linguistics to this case. We thank the parties for their hard work. Because neither of them asks us to apply corpus linguistics here, we decline to consider it further.")

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111, 2178 (2022) (Breyer, J. dissenting) ("The majority in [District of Columbia v Heller] rejected Justice Stevens’ argument that the Second Amendment's use of the words “bear Arms” drew on an idiomatic meaning that, at the time of the founding, commonly referred to military service. 554 U.S. at 586, 128 S.Ct. 2783. Linguistics experts now tell us that the majority was wrong to do so. See, e.g., Brief for Corpus Linguistics Professors and Experts as Amici Curiae (Brief for Linguistics Professors); Brief for Neal Goldfarb as Amicus Curiae; Brief for Americans Against Gun Violence as Amicus Curiae 13–15. Since Heller was decided, experts have searched over 120,000 founding-era texts from between 1760 and 1799, as well as 40,000 texts from sources dating as far back as 1475, for historical uses of the phrase “bear arms,” and they concluded that the phrase was overwhelmingly used to refer to “ ‘war, soldiering, or other forms of armed action by a group rather than an individual.’ ” Brief for Linguistics Professors 11, 14; see also D. Baron, Corpus Evidence Illuminates the Meaning of Bear Arms, 46 Hastings Const. L. Q. 509, 510 (2019) (“Non-military uses of bear arms in reference to hunting or personal self-defense are not just rare, they are almost nonexistent”); id., at 510–511 (reporting 900 instances in which “bear arms” was used to refer to military or collective use of firearms and only 7 instances that were either ambiguous or without a military connotation).)

Health Freedom Defense Fund v Biden, 599 F.Supp.3d 1144, 1180 (M.D. Fla. 2022) (court used Corpus of Historical English (COHA) to explore uses of "sanitation" between 1930 and 1944).

United States v Seefried, __ F.Supp.3d __, 2022 WL 16528415 (D.D.C. 2022) (concluding that certification of electoral votes on January 6, 2021, did not involve "administration of justice" for purposes of sentencing a January 6 protester, using among other sources searches of the Corpus of Caselaw Access Project (COCAP) and the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA)).

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