Eric Weiskott deposited Punctuating Old English Poetry: Challenges and Strategies in the group 2018 MLA Convention on MLA Commons 5 years, 4 months ago
As in other early language traditions, premodern English poetry was written out with very light punctuation. The sparsity of manuscript punctuation appears especially problematic in the period before 1200, when poetry in English lacked visual linebreaks. The difficulties of parsing this poetry are substantial. Modern editors of Old English verse must decide, on a case-by-case basis, where clauses end and how verses relate to one another syntactically. This paper grapples with the consequences of this situation. The paper has two sections: Challenges and Strategies. The first section is descriptive, and the second is analytical.