In recognition of the work initiated by Sture Allén at the University of Gothenburg in the 1960s, Språkbanken (the Swedish Language Bank) was established in 1975 as a national center (and funded on the national level) located in the Faculty of Arts, University of Gothenburg. Alléns groundbreaking corpus linguistic research resulted in the creation of one of the first large electronic text corpora in another language than English, Press-65, with one million words of newspaper text. The task of Språkbanken was, and still is, to collect, develop, and store (Swedish) text corpora, and to make linguistic data extracted from the corpora available to researchers and to the public. Through Språkbanken, users have been able to access linguistic and statistical data about a diverse range of Swedish text since the 1970s.
Språkbanken has since evolved into a nationally and internationally acknowledged research unit, with a unique combination of competences in the areas of Swedish linguistic resources and language technology tools for working with linguistic resources in an integrated research infrastructure. Most of the corpora represent modern Swedish newstext and fiction, but Swedish texts in other genres and from other time periods - in fact, most periods of written Swedish - are increasingly being incorporated in Språkbanken. The resources are much used by scholars in Sweden and internationally (particularly in Finland, where Swedish is an official language), for empirical research on various aspects of the Swedish language. They are also used in the teaching of Swedish linguistics at the university level in a number of universities, both in Sweden and abroad.
The corpora and linguistic data of Språkbanken are primarily presented in the form of concordances, accessed through a search interface. This is the presentation mode of choice for the purposes of traditional linguistic research, whereas language technology researchers often need whole corpora, e.g. in order to apply machine learning algorithms. Such resources are increasingly available for downloading from Språkbanken. Språkbanken's lexical resources can be browsed online and most of them can be freely downloaded in standard formats.
(sb-info at svenska dot gu dot se)