Piers Plowman: Concordance. A Lemmatized Analysis of the English Vocabulary of the A B, B, and C Versions as Presented in the Athlone Editions, with Supplementary Concordance of the Latin and French Macaronics
As the title indicates, this book is a concordance to the Athlone texts of the A, B and C versions of PPl. Its main component is the Middle English of the poems; the French and Latin macaronics are treated in supplementary sections. Although computers fairly easily produce a mechanical concordance of spellings, such an absolute alphabetical listing for the three texts would be of very limited use. This concordance is a product of the analysis of these spellings which collects, while cross-referencing them, all the forms of the ME verb “run”(from arne and ern to yarn and yerne) under a single headword (rennen); and it distinguishes homographs such as loue (“love”and “praise”), moot (noun “moat”and verb “must”), lik (adjectival and prepositional functions). All of the ME vocabulary of the three texts has been subjected to lemmatization by such analysis. In the case of the Latin and French macaronic elements this did not seem necessary. The concordance headwords are taken from spellings present in the Athlone editions but the forms under which the MED lists each word are also given. Frequencies and a list of all spellings with their sub frequencies follows each headword, and then comes each occurrence, emphasized in a line of context, listed for the A, B and C texts in text order. A Preface gives a brief history of the project, an Introduction explains the book’s organization and presentation in detail, and Appendices present supplementary lists: of homographs; of forms separated or combined in analysis (e.g., fenelsed, holy church); of words unique to A, B, C, or AC; of proper nouns; of high-frequency headwords; of high frequency spellings. [JSW]
Rev. J. A. Burrows. YLS 16 (2002): 182–85; J. Stevens. Choice 39.9 (2002): 1560; E. G. Stanley, Notes & Queries 50 (2003): 226–27.