Mark Davies is a professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University who specializes in corpus linguistics, language change, design and optimization of linguistic databases, and frequency and collocational analyses for English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
A “corpus” is a body or database of words. He is known for his over-twenty databases; his most used is the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), which catalogs half a billion words and contains approximately 334.12 billion words. His corpora accumulates four to five million words each day. He was also given a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to build the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), which combines texts from 1810 through 2009. His work was featured in a BYU Magazine article in 2017.
Davies holds a BA degree in Linguistics and Spanish, a MA degree in Spanish Linguistics, both from BYU, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in Ibero-Romance Linguistics. Prior to coming to BYU in 2003, he was a professor of Spanish at Illinois State University.
He has been awarded six large federal grants to create and analyze corpora. Most recently, he was given a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to expand the his Spanish and Portuguese corpora.
BYU’s databases are free and easily accessible and are used worldwide, from academia, legal entities, app developers, editors, to mainstream users.
Davies is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has created a corpus of LDS General Conference talks that, as he describes, “allows users to track the frequency of words and phrases by decade, find collocates (nearby words) to see changes in meaning, compare between different historical periods, and more.”