A Corpus of Narrative Etymologies (CoNE): Overview

1. What is in CoNE?

1.1 The Principal Parts

The fundamental parts of CoNE are (1) the set of Narrative Etymologies (the Corpus of Narrative Etymologies itself) and (2) the set of linguistic changes (the Corpus of Changes, the CC). In addition there is a smaller set of Special Codes and a set of CoNE documents. Each of these four components and their organisation in the website is described further below. First the structural arrangement of the CoNE website is outlined.

1.2 Arrangement of the Website

1.2.1 Main Page

The main window of the CoNE web page comprises two frames. Down the left-hand side of the screen is the Menu. This is a list of links for the different functions of CoNE. The larger part of the screen, to the right of this, is the Display Area. Each frame allows for separate scrolling if the window is zoomed.

1.2.2 Menu

The ‘Front Page’ link, first link at the top of the Menu, will take you to the CoNE ‘Front Page’. Here are to be found links to ‘About CoNE’, ‘Copyright’, ‘Citing CoNE’ and ‘Funders’. Under ‘Read These First’ is ‘Fonts & Browsers’ which gives important information about (a) fonts you will need to download to get full functionality and (b) browser issues. Next is the link to this ‘Overview’, which you are reading. Hovering the cursor over ‘Documents’ reveals a drop-down list that allows selection of each of the documents that explain the different aspects of CoNE, including an Introduction. A selected document is displayed in the Display Area. Then follow the Menu items which allow you to search for and retrieve the data. The tasks ‘View’ and ‘Search’ are grouped under ‘CoNE’; the tasks ‘View’, ‘Search’ and ‘View entire CC’; are grouped under ‘The CC’; and the tasks ‘View’ and ‘View all Special Codes‘ are grouped under ‘Special Codes’. Clicking on a Menu item’s link calls up a list of options within the Display Area. The ‘Search’ facility also calls up a |Key|. This provides explanations of the menu items and the kind and format of the data to be retrieved. Placing your cursor on |Key| will cause the explanatory notes to appear. (Note that this is not a conventional ‘pop-up’ window, and it is NOT necessary to have ‘pop-up’ windows activated to see this.) Moving the cursor from |Key| will cause the explanations to disappear.

At the foot of the Menu is a direct link to the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English (LAEME) whose Corpus of Tagged Texts provides the dataset for CoNE. There is a second link to ‘Other Resources’. This calls up a set of further links to other online linguistic atlases and dictionaries relating to the languages of the British Isles in the late medieval period. (Be aware that the University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content of the listed external internet sites nor for any consquences of using them.)

1.2.3 Display Area

Clicking on a link in the Menu will call up an index or form in the Display Area. This takes up the second part of the Main Page to the right of the menu. You will be able to click on items in an index or be asked to select and enter data in a form.

2. How to access the content of CoNE

2.1 Inside CoNE

2.1.1 The Corpus of Narrative Etymologies (CoNE)

Organisation of the Narrative Etymologies

The contents of CoNE are accessed via a master index which is itself accessed via the CoNE: View option in the Menu. The master index is organised into a number of sub-indices:

2.1.2 Accessing a CoNE etymology

By selecting an item from one of CoNE’s indices, the user will access that item’s etymological narrative. The etymology has two main parts: an Old English part, which deals with the item’s evolution from its Proto-Old English origin to its attested Old English forms; and a Middle English part, which accounts for the item’s shapes as attested in the LAEME CTT. See further CoNE Documents > Introduction, > CoNE etymologies. For most items consisting of two non-inflectional elements (e.g. the compound noun $godchild/n or the derived noun $godhood/n), the entry in CoNE will direct the user to the etymology for each of the item’s components; the example of $godchild is explained further here.

2.1.3 Hyperlinks within CoNE

CoNE users will encounter different types of hyperlinks within CoNE. They are identifiable as follows:

2.2 The Corpus of Changes (The CC)

The contents of the CC are organised alphabetically according to the initialisms we have assigned to the changes. Initialisms for changes appear within (( )). Beside each initialism we give the full name of the change, e.g. ((HVD)) High Vowel Deletion. By selecting an initialism from the CC’s index, a user can access our description of that change.

3. Searching inside CoNE and CC

The contents of CoNE and CC are fully searchable via the Search CoNE and Search CC options. A guide to using the Search function can be found by selecting Search CoNE or Search CC and then selecting |Key| at the top of the Search Etymologies or Search Changes page. Click here for two examples.

4. Special Codes

In addition to the Corpus of Changes, there is a set of ‘Special Codes’ to explain forms that are not the result of linguistic (formal internal) change. The codes may either flag a form as unchanged, or explain it in terms of other contextual factors to do with scribal behaviour - scripts and orthographies and the making of the texts in general.

5. CoNE Documents

The CoNE Documents are intended to explain the concepts, perspectives and structures of CoNE, as well as those of LAEME. The Introduction provides a detailed account of the theoretical framework that underpins CoNE and the methodology adopted to create the narrative etymologies. The document References lists all sources cited anywhere in CoNE. The Grammel Commentary explains the grammatical elements (‘grammels’) of tags, LAEME Lexel Specifiers, the extra annotations to the lexical elements (‘lexels’). Filename references to texts in the LAEME CTT are given in LAEME Text Keys.