>> the first instance of POS tagger in the
>> literature was Ken
>> Church's, as a first step towards full parsing of English.
let me note that if I had read with enough attention Stig Johansson's contribution to the Corpus Linguistics: An International Handbook, I would have had plenty of material in his section 6.1 Part-of-speech tagging ...
So the current winner is:
Greene, Barbara B. & Gerald M. Rubin. "Automated Grammatical Tagging of English". Providence, R.I.: Department of Linguistics, Brown University. 1971.
I am still interested in earlier documents/papers/reports if they exist, in any language!
Thanks again Diana