Richard Zimmermann

Blog Post


25 Apr
2021

Funding for a New Middle English Corpus

Middle English prose genres
An overview over Middle English prose genres (click to open)

Middle English prose genres
An overview over Middle English prose genres (click to open)

I have been awarded a SALC Research Development and Support grant (2021) for an exploratory study entitled "Studying linguistic changes in late Middle English - the medieval romance." The goal of this research is to build a database of electronic files of medieval English texts that will allow studying the transition between medieval and modern English (c. 1400-1550). The scope is limited to one particular genre, “romances", the primary form of fictional entertainment in the middle ages.

I have established a good working relation with a transcription company in India who transcribe editions at a highly competitive rate. I will create electronic files for the following texts:

List of prose romances to be digitized and XML-formatted in the proposed project


  • Caxton’s Blanchardyn and Eglantine (Kellner 1890)

  • date: 1489
    pages: 206 pages
    word estimate: 80,000

  • Lord Berner’s Arthur of Little Britain (Utterson 1814)

  • date: 1533
    pages: 668 (including prologue and woodcuts)
    word estimate: 200,000

    Kellner, Leon (1890) Caxton’s Blanchardyn and Eglantine. EETS e.s. 58. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner & Co, 1-206.
    Utterson, EdwardV. (1814) The History of the Valiant Knight Arthur of Little Britain: A Romance of Chivalry originally translated from the French by John Bourchier, Lord Berners. London: White, Cochrane & Co, 1-544.

    Taken together with texts that I have already transcribed in the past, this will bring the total number of transcriptions of prose romances up to the target of c. 1,000,000 words.
    Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!



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