His Glosses: Some Successes and Failures

Christine Franzen

in The Tremulous Hand of Worcester

Published in print September 1991 | ISBN: 9780198117421
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670954 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

His Glosses: Some Successes and Failures

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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)


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One of the questions which is often asked about the work of the tremulous scribe is why he glossed the particular words which he did. He did not attempt to give a word for word interlinear gloss, but instead selected specific words within each text. The words which he glossed were certainly not all difficult ones. Some words were glossed for contextual reasons, to clarify ambiguous word division, for example. This chapter looks at some of the most frequently glossed Old English words — those which were glossed in twelve or more different occurrences in MSS C, D, and F. These words account for about a third of the scribe's glosses in all three manuscripts. The chapter then draws some conclusions as to why he glossed the particular words he did and discusses the kinds of error to which he was prone. Old English lemmata and Latin glosses are summarized in lexicalized forms, while the English glosses are given in their exact forms.

Keywords: tremulous scribe; Old English; glosses; manuscripts; words; error; lemmata

Chapter.  12833 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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