IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1220: Middle English Textual Editing, Structure, and Revision

Wednesday 13 July 2005, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Ad Putter, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol
Paper 1220-a'I wol noght write it here in Englissh': The Use of the English Vernacular in the B and C Texts of Piers Plowman
(Language: English)
Marta K. D. Cobb, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Literacy and Orality
Paper 1220-bHabitual Use of Certain Syntactic Structures in the Second Half-Line of Middle English Alliterative Verse
(Language: English)
Yasuyo Moriya, Department of English, International Christian University, Tokyo
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Literacy and Orality
Paper 1220-cMultiplying Sir Gawain: A Study of the Editions of the Middle English Alliterative Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(Language: English)
Mina Kondo, Graduate School, Osaka University of Foreign Studies
Index terms: Bibliography, Language and Literature - Middle English, Manuscripts and Palaeography

Grouped by IMC Programming Committee
Abstract Paper -a:
This paper will analyse the role of English in the B and C versions of William Langland’s ‘Piers Plowman’. Through close examination of selected passages from the B and C texts, it will prove that, while the B-text deliberately addresses the religious and political ramifications of the use of the vernacular – raising questions about the difficulties created by the increased access it might give to certain audiences – the C-text avoids this scrutiny of the vernacular’s implications. This study will also attempt to hypothesize possible reasons for this revision.
Abstract Paper -b:
This paper examines the second half-line of various ME alliterative verse in order to reveal the role of the subordinate or additional clause in meeting metrical requirements. A clause containing a relative pronoun, a relative adverb, a subordinate conjunction, and an impersonal verb such as “bisemez” and “one lykez” frequently appears in the second half-line whose second beat is free from the alliteration constraint. This leads to the idea that these syntactic structures, though they may not be lexically identical, function as formulaic expressions, which the ME alliterative poets must have utilized as a useful device.
Abstract Paper -c:
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight exists in a unique manuscript. The edition of SGGK extensively used by students and scholars is the second edition of Tolkien and Gordon (1925), revised by Davis (1967). The use of this edition is so widespread that it has come to be regarded as authoritative. To interpret and appreciatethe poem, however, especially when we encounter the difficulties and ambiguities in the text, it will be significant for us to consult some other editions. I should like to examine a problematical line in SGGK and show the importance of using more than one edition.