Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 229–244 | Cite as

Book reviews

  • Thomas Elwood Hart
  • J. Michael Bruer
  • John M. Morris
  • Léopold Migeotte
  • Henry E. Kyburg
  • Bluma L. Trell
  • Pierre H. Dubé
  • Carolyn Rabson
  • Donald J. Funes
  • Nick Cercone
  • Barbara M. Preschel


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  1. 1.
    Beowulf, 942b–43, 945–46a. Citations throughout are from Dobbie's edition, vol. 4 ofThe Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, ed. George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, 6 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1931–53).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See the discussion on pp. vi-vii of theWortindex zu Goethes Faust, ed. A.R. Hohlfeld, Martin Joos, and W.F. Twaddell (Madison: University of Wisconsin, German Department, 1940), especially the editors' own rationale: the index “verdankt seine Entstehung nicht so sehr ästhetisch-literarischen Erwägungen als vielmehr sprachstatistischen Interessen. In der Tat liegt bei einem Werke dieser Art der Gewinn für den Sprachforscher weit mehr auf der Hand als der für den Literaturwissenschaftler” (p. vi).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Notably theWortindex zu Goethes Faust (previous note) and R-M. S. Heffner,A Word-Index to the Texts of Steinmeyer, Die kleineren althochdeutschen Sprachdenkmäler (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    This despite the urgings of earlier reviewers and the editor's own notice inBC, p. xvi: “We could have avoided the appearance of some homographs in the concordance by adding long marks to the headwords, and will probably attempt this procedure in the full Poetic Records concordance.”Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Even further removed in theASPR concordance than in its forerunner because the word's occurrences as conjunction and pronoun are no longer listed separately.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The double recurrence in lines 2700–01 sticks out enough to have struck many commentators as “very awkward” (Dobbie, p. 255) and has accordingly attracted its share of emendation attempts.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    One conceivable refinement is illustrated in the well-devised “Structural Pattern Index” ofA Concordance to the Nibelungenlied, ed. Franz H. Bäuml and Eva-Maria Fallone (Leeds: Maney, 1976), which collated into “groups” recurring patterns as diverse as “die zwêne grimmige man,” “die zwêne junge künege,” and “die zwêne küene man.”Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Though primarily a dictionary, this is, as Fred C. Robinson has described it, “virtually a concordance of the poetry.” See hisOld English Literature: A Select Bibliography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970), pp. 53–54, for further references to specialized dictionaries and concordances.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See John Leyerle's progress report in this journal, 5(1971), 279–83 (completion anticipated in “the last decade of the century”); Angus Cameron, Roberta Frank, and John Leyerle, eds.,Computers and Old English Concordances. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970); and Roberta Frank and Angus Cameron, eds.,A Plan for the Dictionary of Old English (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    In addition to the instructive (and entertainingly written)BC prefaces and the publications mentioned there (esp. p. xxii) see J.B. Bessinger, Jr., “The Computer and Old English Verse; with a Larger Proposal,”Old English Newsletter, 1(1967), 6–7, and the observations recorded inComputers and Old English Concordances (previous note), especially pp. 4–10, 35–43, 59, and 78–82.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    I can recall running into only one unambiguous error in the body of theBeowulf concordance, again apparently stemming from human, rather than mechanical, frailty: the citation foraet in line 1691 should be deleted from the list of conjunctions on p. 235 and inserted into the list of pronouns on p. 237.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See Robert D. Stevick, “Arithmetical Design of the Old EnglishAndreas,” inAnglo-Saxon Poetry: Essays in Appreciation, for John C. McGalliard, ed. Lewis E. Nicholson and Dolores Warwick Frese (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 1975), pp. 99–115; see also the abstract of his recent oral paper, “Geometrical Design of the Old EnglishAndreas,” inOld English Newsletter, 11(Spring 1978), 22–23. A cognate paper on the same program (Medieval Institute, Kalamazoo, MI, May 1978) was my “Geometry and the Structure ofAndreas.” Research on this aspect ofBeowulf is cited by Stevick (1975), n. 2, third edition of C.L. Wrenn, ed.,Beowulf, with the Finnsburg Fragment (London: Harrap, 1973), pp. 78–9. See also my forthcoming paper onBeowulf inEssays in the Numerical Analysis of Medieval Literature, ed. Caroline D. Eckhardt (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Computers and Old English Concordances (note 9 above), p. 10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© North-Holland Publishing Company 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Elwood Hart
    • 1
  • J. Michael Bruer
    • 2
  • John M. Morris
    • 3
  • Léopold Migeotte
    • 4
  • Henry E. Kyburg
    • 5
  • Bluma L. Trell
    • 6
  • Pierre H. Dubé
    • 7
  • Carolyn Rabson
  • Donald J. Funes
    • 8
    • 9
  • Nick Cercone
    • 10
  • Barbara M. Preschel
    • 11
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuse
  2. 2.California Library Authority for Systems and Services
  3. 3.Software Systems SectionPAR CorporationRome
  4. 4.Department of HistoryUniversité LavalQuébec
  5. 5.University of Rochester
  6. 6.New York UniversityNew York
  7. 7.University of WaterlooWaterloo
  8. 8.Crane School of MusicState University of New YorkPotsdam
  9. 9.Music DepartmentNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalb
  10. 10.Computing Science DepartmentSimon Fraser UniversityBurnaby
  11. 11.Aretê Publishing CompanyPrinceton

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