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How linguists are unlocking the meanings of Shakespeare’s words using numbers

By Jonathan Culpeper, Chair professor in English Language and Linguistics, Lancaster University
Today it would seem odd to describe a flower with the word “bastard” – why apply a term of personal abuse to a flower? But in Shakespeare’s time, “bastard” was a technical term describing certain plants.

Similarly, associating the word “bad” with success and talking of a “bad success” would be decidedly odd today. But it was not unusual then, when success meant outcome, which could be good or bad.

Corpus linguistics is a branch of linguistics which uses computers to explore the use of words in huge…The Conversation

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