Corpora and the Second Amendment

This page is a guide to the series of posts here and on Language Log in which I am examining the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in light of newly available corpus data. Specifically, this page provides (1) links to all the posts in the series, (2) information about the corpora that are providing the data that is discussed in these posts,  (3) information about, and a link to, the search results on which my analysis will be based, which I am making available to enable interested persons to evaluate my analysis and to make it possible for people to perform their own analyses, without having to grapple with the corpus interface, and (4) links to my paper and blog posts discussing the approach to word meaning that my analysis will draw on.

The posts in the series.

The coming corpus-based reexamination of the Second Amendment
[LLog, LAWnLing]
Corpora and the Second Amendment: Responding to Weisberg on the meaning of “bear arms”
[LLog, LAWnLing]
Corpora and the Second Amendment: Weisberg responds to me; plus update re OED
[LLog, LAWnLing]
Corpora and the Second Amendment: Preliminaries and caveats
[LLog, LAWnLing]
Corpora and the Second Amendment: Heller
[LLog, LAWnLing]

The corpora. The corpus data that my posts will discuss is from two of the three corpora that comprise the BYU Law Corpora: COFEA (the Corpus of Founding Era American English) and COEME (the Corpus of Early American English). These corpora are a project of the BYU Law School, and they have been created in order to provide resources for doing research regarding the original meaning of the United States Constitution. They have been in the works since roughly 2015, and beta versions were made available to the public in early May 2018.

For information about the corpora, see “The BYU Law corpora”  [LLog, LAWnLing]. Both of the corpora can be accessed here.

The downloadable search results are available, in the form of Excel spreadsheets, here.

My paper and relevant blog posts.

A Lawyer’s Introduction to Meaning in the Framework of Corpus Linguistics, 2017 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 1359.
Meaning in the framework of corpus linguistics,” LAWnLinguistics (Sept. 21, 2017). A very brief summary of the paper.
The semantics of sleeping in railway stations,” LAWnLinguistics (June 5, 2017). A case study.