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Description of the corpus

The Paisà corpus is a large collection of Italian web texts, licensed under Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike and Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike). It has been created in the context of the project PAISÀ.

The PAISÀ documents were selected in two different ways. A part of the corpus was constructed using a method inspired by the WaCky project. We created 50,000 word pairs by randomly combining terms from an Italian basic vocabulary list, and used the pairs as queries to the Yahoo! search engine in order to retrieve candidate pages. We limited hits to pages in Italian with a Creative Commons license of type: CC-Attribution, CC-Attribution-Sharealike, CC-Attribution-Sharealike-Non-commercial, and CC-Attribution-Non-commercial. Pages that were wrongly tagged as CC-licensed were eliminated using a black-list that was populated by manual inspection of earlier versions of the corpus. The retrieved pages were automatically cleaned using the KrdWrd system.

The remaining pages in the PAISÀ corpus come from the Italian versions of various Wikimedia Foundation projects, namely: Wikipedia, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage. The official Wikimedia Foundation dumps were used, extracting text with Wikipedia Extractor.

Once all materials were downloaded, the collection was filtered discarding empty documents or documents containing less than 150 words.

The corpus contains approximately 380,000 documents coming from about 1,000 different websites, for a total of about 250 million words. Approximately 260,000 documents are from Wikipedia, approx. 5,600 from other Wikimedia Foundation projects. About 9,300 documents come from Indymedia, and we estimate that about 65,000 documents come from blog services.

Documents are marked in the corpus by an XML "text" tag with "id" and "url" attributes, the first corresponding to a unique numeric code assigned to each document, the second providing the original URL of the document.

See more on the construction process in section construction steps and on the partners' contributions in the section partnership. Online access to the corpus is available via a dedicated interface. Additionally, the corpus is provided for download in different versions.

Paisà corpus for download

The compiled Paisà corpus, and information derived from it, is licensed by the project Paisà (www.corpusitaliano.it) under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

It is a collection of cleaned and linguistically annotated web texts with copyright by the indicated URLs, used partly under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike and partly used under Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike, as effective at time of download in September/October 2010.

For citing the corpus:

Lyding, V. / Stemle, E. / Borghetti, C. / Brunello, M. / Castagnoli, S. / Dell'Orletta, F. / Dittmann, H. / Lenci, A. / Pirrelli, V. (2014): "The PAISÀ Corpus of Italian Web Texts" In: Proceedings of the 9th Web as Corpus Workshop (WaC-9), Association for Computational Linguistics, Gothenburg, Sweden, April 2014. pp. 36-43. [link to article]

Frequency lists

The files provide simple listings of the lemmas found in the entire Paisà corpus, together with their counts (format: LEMMA,COUNT). The lemmas are listed in descending frequency order. The reduced list contains only lemmas that are composed of letters and the following three signs: .-'

Data format

Distributed data adhere to the following rules:

Field 1IDToken counter, starting at 1 for each new sentence
Field 2FORMWord form or punctuation symbol
Field 3LEMMALemma of word form
Field 4CPOSTAGCoarse-grained part-of-speech tag
Field 5POSTAGFine-grained part-of-speech tag
Field 6FEATSMorpho-syntactic features
Field 7HEADHead of the current token, which is either a value of ID or zero ('0')
Field 8DEPRELDependency relation linking the token to its head, which is 'ROOT' when the value of HEAD is zero. See the dependency tagset for more information.
Field 9not used
Field 10not used

The morpho-syntactic and dependency tagsets used were jointly developed by the Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale "Antonio Zampolli" (ILC-CNR) and the University of Pisa in the framework of the TANL (Text Analytics and Natural Language processing) project and was used for the annotation of the ISST-TANL dependency annotated corpus.

An annotation example follows: