Hi, I’m Eleanor, and I’ve just finished my second year of studying English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster. During my summer break I completed an internship working on the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language, supervised by Professor Jonathan Culpeper. I decided to apply for the internship as I have an interest in stylistics, and the fact that the internship allowed for the analysis of literary texts through linguistic methods (such as the use of corpora) seemed exciting to me. I was initially nervous about using corpus research methods as it was something completely new to me, but with Professor Culpeper’s supervision I quickly picked it up and found it to be an invaluable tool throughout the project.
My role involved writing proposed definitions for the encyclopaedia, that could be verified by the project team, focussing on words that occur at an extremely low frequency within Shakespeare’s work. In order to do this, I considered Shakespeare’s usage of each word in context by using a corpus; viewing the language use in context really helped me to understand the intended meaning and guided the writing of the entries.
Completing the internship has not only improved my understanding of corpus research methods and provided me with independent study skills but also confirmed that I wish to pursue postgraduate study. I loved completing the research for this project and hopefully will have the opportunity to undertake my own in the future!