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Lexical Cruces in Orrmulum: The importance of context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9051-3376
2015 (English)In: Studia Neophilologica, ISSN 0039-3274, E-ISSN 1651-2308, Vol. 87, no 2, 131-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Between 1659 (when he purchased the Orrmulum manuscript) and 1666 (when he died), Jan van Vliet, Dutch local administrator and antiquarian, worked on a glossary for Orrmulum. A draft of this glossary, together with transcripts of parts of the text of Orrmulum, is preserved in his notebook, now London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 783. In his 1961 study, Robert Burchfield presented an analysis of those words in van Vliet’s material that derived from folios since lost from the Orrmulum manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1). A problem with Burchfield’s analysis is that he discusses problematic words out of context, which in some cases leads to infelicitous interpretations. Since the folios where the words occurred have been lost, this may seem to be the only approach possible. But some context which may support (or disprove) an interpretation is provided by van Vliet’s transcripts of text passages; his notebook as a whole also provides a context which may aid interpretation. It is also possible to construct a more general context for a word by considering the content of the text before and after the lacunae in order to determine what Orrm in all likelihood wrote on the missing folios.

This article will present a re-interpretation of a few problematic words in this material, based on the context in which they appear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 87, no 2, 131-151 p.
Keyword [en]
Middle English, Orrmulum, Ormulum, vocabulary
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120108DOI: 10.1080/00393274.2015.1049817ISI: 000362089200001OAI: diva2:850307
Available from: 2015-09-01 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2015-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Johannesson, Nils-Lennart
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