BFM (Base de Français Médiéval)



The Base de Français Médiéval database (or BFM), founded in 1989, currently comprises 124 complete Old and Middle French texts. Thanks to its volume (approximately 3 300 000 words) and the diversity of the texts included, this database is unique in France for this period of the history of French. It has been used by a research community of approximately one hundred scholars, teachers, and students worldwide.

The texts included in the BFM cover a considerable geographic area and an extensive chronological breadth, with texts from the 9th century (including the first known French text, theSerments de Strasbourg) to the end of the 15th century. Both verse and prose texts are represented, as well as different genres and domains (e.g., fiction, history, hagiography, law, the sciences…).

Since May 2012, the BFM is accessible via a new web portal powered by the TXM corpus search and analysis platform. Depending on their copyright status, texts can be searched with or without context size limitation and viewed using the web browser. Non copyrighted texts can be downloaded on demand in the form of TEI P5 XML files.

All BFM texts are tokenized and morphologically tagged with the help of TreeTagger (using BFM own parameter file). As of November 2013, morphological annotation of 19 texts has been verified and corrected by experts.


BFM is accessible free of charge for any interested person. Online registration and acceptance of the BFM Specific Conditions of Use are required to use some of the functionalities. Some restrictions apply to copyrighted scholarly editions included in the database. See BFM General and Specific Conditions of Use (in French) for more details.

Host Institutions

Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and ICAR Research Laboratory, Lyon, France


Alexei Lavrentiev

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