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Textual Healing: Studies in Medieval English Medical, Scientific and Technical Texts


Edited By Javier E. Díaz Vera and Rosario Caballero

The studies presented in this volume concentrate on different aspects of the medical, scientific and technical varieties of early English used in a wide range of medieval manuscripts. As the growing body of research published in recent years has shown, analysing the language of specialised texts is an opportunity to obtain access to the early history and vernacularisation of learned writing styles. It is an area of study in which all the contributors have considerable expertise, which affords them to present data findings while discussing important methodological issues. In addition, in most cases data derive from specially-designed ‘second-generation’ corpora, reflecting state-of-the-art approaches to historical linguistics, discourse analysis and pragmatics. Theoretical issues concerning the digital edition of medical and scientific texts, their role in social network analysis, and their value in the identification of dialectal specific traits are highlighted by the authors.


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An Annotated Corpus of Middle English Scientific Prose: Aims and Features1 1. Introduction Tagged corpora can be said to fall roughly into two main classes: labelled and annotated ones. Some are labelled in the sense that the items of the corpus are added tags (normally as headers to particular sections of the text) to indicate just some, very general features (information like title, author, date, genre, and/or such macrotextual information as line and page). This permits easy identification and reference, which comes in particularly handy when you have to deal with mammoth corpora containing several million words. When employing this system, the customary procedure is that a string of items will share the same tag. For example, the words comprising the sentence To be, or not to be, that is the question could be tagged together under a single label, perhaps something like: , which indicates author, title of the work, act, scene and line, respectively. The following line of the prince’s famous soliloquy, Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer, would then offer something similar to . Further information can be added to this simple tag as needed regarding date of composition, dramatis persona, and the like. The actual syntax of the tag may vary exceedingly, depending on the mark-up language used; for example, 1 The present research has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (grant number HUM2004–01075FILO) and by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia (grant number HUM–2609). These grants are hereby gratefully acknowledged....

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