Grupo de Investigación Lingüística e Literaria Galega ILLA
ILLA Linguistics and Literary Research Group
Universidade da Coruña
da poesía medieval profana


1. Corpus sources, scope and organisation

The first phase of the glossary process involved a series of steps:

a) Classification of cantigas using the Jean-Marie d’Heur referencing system. Unlike the Giuseppe Tavani classification, the d’Heur system presents the compositions in a numerical sequence based on the position of the text within each cancioneiro (songbook), making it a more efficient form of reference from the point of view of genre and linguistic considerations, and a simpler system of classifying the context of each cantiga. (table of cantigas here).

b) Definition of corpus scope. The corpus is a complete compendium of secular troubadour poetry in Galician-Portuguese collected from the different cancioneiros. The few fragments or texts in other languages (Latin, Provençal, Spanish) have been excluded, together with the Marian lauds and later cantigas found in the Italian apographs.

c) Textual analysis, collation and modernisation. The full corpus of secular lyric poetry was analysed and revised based on existing critical editions and the collated transmission manuscripts: Cancioneiro da Ajuda (A), Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional (B), Cancioneiro da Vaticana (V), Pergaminho Vindel (N) and Pergaminho Sharrer (T). Precedence was given throughout this process to songbook A over songbooks B and V (and to B over V); likewise, for the cantigas of Martin Codax, texts from the Pergaminho Vindel were selected over those transmitted in the Italian apographs.

d) Application of the Normas de edición para a poesía trobadoresca galego-portuguesa (Manuel Ferreiro, Carlos P. Martínez Pereiro and Laura Tato Fontaíña, 2007). Spelling and accentuation have been standardised throughout to enhance the internal unity and usability of the corpus, with scrupulous attention paid to the textual reality of each fragment in order to preserve the linguistic substance of the text. (Normas here).

2. Full concordance of the corpus using specially designed concordancing software (COMEGA – Concordancias Medievais Galegas)

Despite the availability of a number of general text-retrieval programmes (e.g. TACT – Textual Analysis Computing Tools), the specificity of our corpus required the creation of a dedicated text-retrieval programme capable of supporting graphic signs and textual marks of all kinds and, in particular, diacritical marks and parentheses. It was also important that the programme be fast, simple and adaptable, in order to process all the linguistic and the literary material in the corpus and allow for the progressive incorporation of new instructions and specifications.

3. Creating the Glosario crítico da poesía medieval galego-portuguesa

Our methodology for the Glosario adheres closely to that used in the creation of conventional dictionaries, with the necessary adaptations and limitations that a specialist vocabulary of this kind imposes (closed corpus, interpretative problems, literary and expressive ambiguity, etc.) For our project, we have taken as our primary point of reference the methodology followed in Walter Mettmann’s glossary for Cantigas de Santa Maria and Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcelos’s work on the Cancioneiro de Ajuda, as well as the dedicated glossaries included in a number of other critical editions.

Following an initial disambiguation of the collected linguistic material to identify the model and class of each entry (both lexical and grammatical), the characteristics of each were established, together with the distinct contexts associated with each word.

4. Publication

The results of the Glosario crítico da poesía medieval galego-portuguesa project will be released on a staged, alphabetical basis, beginning in March 2014; publication is projected to be completed by December 2015. GLOSSA is a free, open-access website, available to researchers and general users alike..

5. Revisions and new editions of the Glosario 

GLOSSA will be subject to a process of constant revision and development, to produce new, increasingly complex versions of the catalogue, incorporating new data and lexical analyses, and technical and design improvements to the website.