Middle English Medical Texts

ORCID logoIrma Taavitsainen | University of Helsinki
Päivi Pahta | University of Helsinki
ORCID logoMartti Mäkinen | University of Helsinki
ISBN 9789027232304 | EUR 60.00 | USD 90.00

Middle English Medical Texts (MEMT) is an electronic corpus including 86 texts and 495,322 words from three traditions of medical writing (surgical treatises, specialized texts, and remedy books) from 1375 to 1500, and an appendix of recipes from c. 1330. MEMT provides a new research resource for several kinds of study. Medical writing shows a great deal of variation even at this early phase, and it is possible to trace linguistic and conceptual developments. MEMT is intended for historical linguists, philologists, and historians of medicine. Most text samples come from edited treatises, but new material (unpublished theses, new transcripts) is also offered. The text samples of the corpus cover 79 codices/manuscripts.

The corpus comes with MEMT Presenter, Windows-compatible software to view and browse the texts, and perform text searches. The CD-ROM also contains a JavaScript-based version of the corpus for web browsers in any system, including Macintosh and Linux; this version does, however, not have the advanced corpus search functionality offered by the MEMT Presenter software. In addition, the CD-ROM contains an Introduction by the compilers, background information on texts in the Text Catalogue and Bibliography, and MEMT Presenter Manual.

The compilers of MEMT are all researchers at the Research Unit for Variation and Change in English, University of Helsinki. Irma Taavitsainen is Professor of English Philology and Head of the English Department at the University of Helsinki. Päivi Pahta is Fellow of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Martti Mäkinen is preparing his doctorate on Middle English herbals. Their collaborator, Raymond Hickey, is Professor of English Language at Essen University.

[Not in series, 131] 2005.  CD-ROM
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[...] a very valuable resource for studying both content and the expression of vernacular medical writing in late medieval England.The Introduction offers an invaluable survey of edited Middle English medical texts and the handful of unedited manuscripts included in the corpus [...] a list of manuscripts on which the editions were based rounds out the resources provided to readers. For someone beginning to study Middle English texts, this overview of primary and secondary sources and related research tools is must-read material, and even scholars already familiar with the information will appreciate having it drawn together in a single place.”
“MEMT should be welcomed as a valuable and important addition to the world of English diachronic corpora. [...] The compilers have performed their task with precision and thoroughness, guided by their extensive experience with practical diachronic corpus work and their knowledge about the needs of the corpus user.”

Electronic/Multimedia Products

Electronic/Multimedia Products

Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2006570209 | Marc record