In this article the authors explore the use of “California,” its translations, and associated phrases in the nine languages collected in the Google Books corpora since 1525. The article graphs the use across time, analyzes the data, and considers some of the reasons behind the peaks and troughs of the usage of “California” and related phrases. For those new to computational corpus analysis, this article introduces the techniques and concepts of corpus analysis, explains the strengths and weaknesses of large-scale, longitudinal studies of language, and describes the specific methods applied in this analysis. Across all languages, the frequency of “California” increases steadily until the late 1990s. The article also examine the use of the notable but infrequently used phrase “California dream.” Visualizations of the analyses accompany the article, as well as additional graphs comparing the use of Los Angeles to San Francisco and Northern California to Southern California since 1800.
- © 2014 by the Regents of the University of California