ABOUT THIS BOOK This book is intended for researchers who want to keep abreast of cur rent developments in corpus-based natural language processing. It is not meant as an introduction to this field; for readers who need one, several entry-level texts are available, including those of (Church and Mercer, 1993; Charniak, 1993; Jelinek, 1997). This book captures the essence of a series of highly successful work shops held in the last few years. The response in 1993 to the initial Workshop on Very Large Corpora (Columbus, Ohio) was so enthusias tic that we were encouraged to make it an annual event. The following year, we staged the Second Workshop on Very Large Corpora in Ky oto. As a way of managing these annual workshops, we then decided to register a special interest group called SIGDAT with the Association for Computational Linguistics. The demand for international forums on corpus-based NLP has been expanding so rapidly that in 1995 SIGDAT was led to organize not only the Third Workshop on Very Large Corpora (Cambridge, Mass. ) but also a complementary workshop entitled From Texts to Tags (Dublin). Obviously, the success of these workshops was in some measure a re flection of the growing popularity of corpus-based methods in the NLP community. But first and foremost, it was due to the fact that the work shops attracted so many high-quality papers.