Corpus Philology, Big Dating and Bottom-Up Periodisation

Argues, with Crane, Bamman and Jones 2013, that philology can be seen as a special case of corpus linguistics, showcasing a range of techniques that allow for the contextualisation of linguistic variants in Old English texts using corpus-linguistic techniques. As a case study, it attempt to date two English versions of Sawyer 136 (King Offa for St Albans, ostensibly from 793), suggesting an eleventh-century date for its forgery is feasible. The conclusion delineates some broader possibilities that derive from these corpus-philological methods, including using cluster analysis on linguistic profiles of texts and applying techniques like Variability-Based Neighbour Clustering to ascertain where to place the boundary between Old and Middle English.

Pre-print available here.

Reference: Mark Faulkner, Corpus Philology, Big Dating and Bottom-Up Periodisation’, in Dark Archives I: Voyages into the Medieval Unread and Unreadable 2019-2021 eds. Stephen A. Pink and Anthony Lappin, Medium Ævum Monographs n. s. 43 (Oxford, 2023), 285-313.