To provide students with some guidelins for transcription
2. Transcription @ InScribe
2.4 Special letterforms
Since most of the manuscripts and documents transcribed in this module are in Latin, the number of special characters found in them is rather limited. One should not, however, confuse special characters with different shapes of letter forms commonly in use. Thus, for example, we find several shapes of s across different periods (high, low, round, etc.). Indeed, this letterform is still extant today in one of its medieval forms, the round one.
A different situation applies to vernacular texts. Both Old and Middle English texts use a number of letterforms which are no longer found in present-day English. Most of these are provided for you underneath each transcription box within the transcription tool so that you can copy and paste them in to your own transcription. They include:
- ash (æ)
- eth (ð)
- thorn (þ)
- yogh (ȝ).
Two further cases might be considered here. Both the Anglo-Saxon form of g (ƽ) and wynn (ƿ) are very rarely used in modern editions of Old English texts. The former, even though it has been argued that it might represent a different sound to that of g, is always transcribed with this form in Old English. As for the latter, the introduction and success of w into the English language by the Normans eventually meant its total obliteration. For these reasons we have decided to transcribe them using the modern forms of g and w respectively.
NB.- Both ampersand (&) and the Tironian nota (7) are considered as abbreviation marks for et and and respectively and therefore treated under the Abbreviations section.