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Longman Corpus Network

The Longman/Lancaster Corpus

Bullet Point WHAT IS THE LONGMAN/LANCASTER CORPUS?

The Longman/Lancaster Corpus is a large computerised body of language made up of running text from a wide range of sources. It is 30 million words of written language taken from literature, magazines, papers and more ephemeral materials such as leaflets and packaging. The only global corpus that is carefully constructed to be as representative of written language as possible and a true reflection of twentieth century English, the Longman/Lancaster Corpus offers lexicographers, editors and authors all the information they need to know to write top quality dictionaries and EFL materials.

Bullet Point HOW DOES IT HELP?

Words can be looked at in the corpus via a concordancing programme. We call up the words we want to examine and the corpus shows us every occurrence of that word in context in its 30 million word databank. Example after example of that word comes up on the screen and from so many examples we are able to deduce a great deal of information about how a word is being used. Take the word haunt for example (fig. 1). Most people would associate the word with ghosts and graveyards and think of this as its primary meaning. However, from the examples in the Longman/Lancaster Corpus, we can see quite clearly that in contemporary English the idiomatic use of the word haunt is by far the most common (fig. 2). This information can be passed on to students using our course materials and dictionaries.

 FIG 1.

the theatre, stayed to haunt her for the rest of her life.
his assassin he will not haunt him. Ah, the past is filled
woman began to haunt him, and not only in his dream
the eyebrow continued to haunt him, and the Coming, so
anxious fantasies will haunt him; but a witch he can push
eased for a single day to haunt him. What they whispered in
vulnerable expression haunt his eyes, and wished I hadn't

FIG 2.

haunt [T not in progressive forms] 1[often pass.] (of spirit, esp. of a dead person) to visit (a place), appearing in a strange form: The ghost of a headless man haunts the castle | a haunted house 2 [usu.pass ] (esp. of something strange or sad) to be always in the thoughts of (someone): I was haunted by his last words to me. She had a haunted look, as if she were constantly anxious or afraid. 3 infml to visit (a place) regularly; FREQUENT

 

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