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Document Details :
Title: Aan de taal kent men de hand
Subtitle: Talige kopiistherkenning en de scribenten van de Lancelotcompilatie
Author(s): KESTEMONT, Mike
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 60 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2018
The Lancelot compilation (The Hague, Royal Library, 129 A 10) is one of the crown jewels of the surviving Middle Dutch Arthurian literature. This Brabantine codex (ca. 1325) offers an incomplete, yet voluminous rendition of the thirteenth-century romance Lanceloet. Five scribes, conventionally labeled A to E, have collaborated closely to produce this text, probably even sharing the same exemplar. Notably, a number of other (fragmentary) manuscripts by these copyists also survive outside the compilation (with the exception of hand E). In this article, I apply computational methods from stylometry to model the idiosyncrasies of these scribes, with respect to their linguistic and orthographic habits. As a test problem, I verify whether this model would have been able to attribute the external fragments to the correct Lanceloet scribe. The article serves to assess the feasibility of scribal attributions in medieval texts, solely on the basis of linguistic features.