This collection of articles deals with the manuscripts, textual transmission, punctuation, spelling, grammar and vocabulary of the "Ancrene Wisse", the Katherine Group and the Wooing Group. A close comparison based on parallel texts substantiates detailed findings about linguistic variation and the role of scribes.
Early Middle English language and literature - "Ancrene Wisse" - The Katherine Group - The Wooing Group - AB Language - Old Norse and French loanwords - Modernity and archaism in Early Middle English - Textual transmission - Lexical variation - Manuscript spacing - Prefixed and phrasal verbs
Among thirteenth-century English devotional writings, the "Ancrene Wisse", the Katherine Group and the Wooing Group are central to debate about a putative standardised English, the AB Language. This book consists of articles investigating the manuscripts, textual transmission, punctuation, spelling, grammar and vocabulary of the "Ancrene Wisse" Group. All the contributors use data taken from the parallel manuscript editions published by the Tokyo Manuscript Reading Group. The articles exemplify ways of using such parallel-text editions for linguistic and literary analysis. They present new findings on lexical and morphological divergences, which taken together cast light on scribal variation in texts transmitted in manuscript.