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Swiss-AL: the multilingual Swiss Corpus for Applied Linguistics

Swiss-AL is a multilingual corpus of Swiss public communication that allows for the data-based analysis and simulation of social discourses.

The Swiss Corpus for Applied Linguistics (Swiss-AL) is a linguistically processed, multilingual collection of texts from key stakeholders in the field of Swiss public communication. It allows for data-based and data-driven research to be conducted into social discourses in Switzerland. The corpus contains texts from Swiss daily and weekly newspapers and online news portals, as well as press releases and news from the blog posts of stakeholders in the areas of politics, business, academia and civil society. A flexible processing pipeline makes it possible to model tailor-made sub-corpora for studying discourses.

Areas of application

Swiss-AL is used by the ZHAW’s Digital Discourse Lab as part of applied research projects on public discourses in Switzerland. The projects include the following:

The media data contained in Swiss-AL also forms the basis for the selection of Switzerland’s Word of the Year in German, French, Italian and Romansh.

In addition, all of the degree programmes in the School of Applied Linguistics use the corpus for research-based teaching, for example when preparing theses at bachelor’s and master’s level.


Selected sub-corpora of Swiss-AL can be used with the help of the specially developed Swiss-AL workbench.


Swiss-AL-Base sub-corpus

Swiss-AL-Media sub-corpus

Swiss-AL-Covid19 sub-corpus

Thematic corpus on COVID-19 in Switzerland