Keywords List – AntConc

The keywords list in AntConc is, as the name suggests, a tool to create a list of keywords. To do this your target corpus is compared to a reference corpus. The target and reference corpora do not need to be of the same size. The comparison is then done statistically. The statistics in AntConc used for this task are either chi-squared and log-likelihood.

In AntConc load your corpus or corpora. Go to Wordlist tab then click start.

make wordlist

Select the Tools Preference menu.

keyword list 1

Click the ‘Keywords List’ option, then click ‘Add Files’.

keyword list 2

Check the desired file is there. Click ‘Load’ then click ‘Apply’.

keyword list 3

Go to ‘Keyword List’ tab then click ‘Start’.

keyword list 4

A list of types should appear like this.

keyword list 5

The keywords are ranked by default by the keyness. In this example the top ranking type in “english” with a score keyness (in this example, chi-squared) of 729.913 (this is a combined score of both the target and reference type score). And it has a frequency of 822 in the target list.


  1. Yes. The list can be a full list (another entire corpus) or a list with the frequencies created (a text file with types and their frequencies).


  2. Do I need to choose first a Corpus, say Brown, and then go to Kewords list and tool preferences and load a different corpus, say LOB?


  3. Hey,

    I would like to know if it is possible you sent me the wordlist of the keywords from Portuguese national corpus. I am searching about it and I can not download the whole corpus.


  4. Hi,
    thank you for your useful explanation. But please help me understanding the “keyness”. What is it exactly? How is the keyness score calculated? You say, it is a combined score of both the target and reference type score. I don’t really understand that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on TESOL_Peter and commented:

    A nice explanation of AntConc and its Keyword list function by Warren Tang.
    I started using AntConc again for some qualitative research and discovered this while searching for advice. Thanks Warren for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

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