The Prime Machine free concordancer for DDL/UG linguistic research (English)

Dear All,

Those working with language learners and linguistics/English majors may be interested to know that The Prime Machine has now been publically released.

It is a learner-friendly Windows app, drawing on ready-made online corpora or small DIY corpora.

It runs on Windows XP - Windows 10, and it is now available from its new website (, from 360 Store (China) and from the Microsoft Store (Windows 10 users only). Search for "The Prime Machine" (don't forget to use "The").

Wherever you get it, it is free.

It probably best suits language learners and undergraduate students who are getting started with DDL and concordancing, and it is hoped it adds an extra choice to the tools already available elsewhere. There are a range of moderately-sized ready-made corpora, including the subcorpora from the BNC, some fiction collections and collections of open academic journals.

The server is based in Suzhou, China.

Best wishes,

Stephen Jeaco
Dear all,

The new version of The Prime Machine (3.0.12.x) should now connect. The problem with the version I announced last week was that the initial connection test was too sensitive for people connecting from a great distance (or with a less direct connection) to the server in Suzhou.

To use it right now, you will need to download this new version from the website (ZIP or installer). If you want to get the new version from the Microsoft Store or the Store, it will take a day or two for those store versions to be updated. Check the release date to see if they are after 3 June 2018. The update to Microsoft Store is currently at the “certification” stage, and hopefully all will go smoothly for publishing there by the end of the week. It is the first update I’ve submitted to, but usually they are pretty fast to respond.

Many thanks to the European-based users who tried it out and helped me diagnose the problem. Also thanks to the colleagues here in China (it was great meeting those of you at CLIC, Wuhan last weekend).

Probably the best way to share comments/suggestions/feature requests with me is via my own email or through the feedback available (link from the main website:

Best wishes,

Dear all,

Version 3.14 of The Prime Machine was released recently; it has been on the website ( and the Microsoft Store for about 2 weeks now. It has just been released on

Wherever you get it, it is free.

The new version is much much faster for working with DIY corpus texts (compared to version 3.12). It also now connects using port 443 (so there should be fewer problems with connecting from public networks where some ports are blocked). There are several other new features; you can see more details in the Version History on the website.

(I have now started work on a MacOS version, but this will take me some time. With a bit of luck I might have that ready after next Spring Festival.)

As always, please do send me feedback and suggestions. There is a suggestion link on the website (or you can email me by looking up my name on the XJTLU website).

Best wishes,