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Corpus linguistics and 17th-century prostitution: computational linguistics and history

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook



Corpus linguistics has much to offer history, being as both disciplines engage so heavily in analysis of large amounts of textual material. This book demonstrates the opportunities for exploring corpus linguistics as a method in historiography and the humanities and social sciences more generally. Focusing on the topic of prostitution in 17th-century England, it shows how corpus methods can assist in social research, and can be used to deepen our understanding and comprehension. McEnery and Baker draw principally on two sources – the newsbook Mercurius Fumigosis and the Early English Books Online Corpus. This scholarship on prostitution and the sex trade offers insight into the social position of women in history.

Bibliographic note

Tony McEnery is distinguished professor of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University. Dr. Helen Baker is Newby Research Fellow, Lancaster University.