Over on Wiktionary we're beginning to run up against a
few difficult questions in the realm of pre-modern
English. We want to include all spellings of words and
are not afraid of the old letters such as edh, thorn,
wynn, yogh, ash, etc.

The main problem for us is to know under which
to put the main entry for a word which may have been
spelled several different ways through history. The
notion of "standard spelling" not really having
appeared yet at those early stages of the language.

Wiktionary is a set of dictionaries of all languages,
each one having its definitions in one language. So
http://en.wiktionary.org will include all word of
Old English and Middle English as well as English,
French, German, etc.

A full article on each word shall appear under its
"main" spelling. For modern languages this is pretty
easy to determine by usage. For Old and Middle English
the temptation might be to use spellings with none of
the archaic letters of the alphabet, but this may not
be totally accurate if another spelling using this
rare letters was more prominent.

All spellings deemed to be "not the main spelling"
have simple articles such as "A variant spelling of

We have started a discussion at
and we would all very much appreciate the input of the
many experts in written language who frequent the
Qalam forum.

It would be great if you could add comments directly
to our discussion page on Wiktionary but several of
the Wiktionary contributors read this list and will be
able to relay information back and forth.

If anybody prefers, I can re-post what we have already
talked about on Wiktionary onto this list.

Regards, Andrew Dunbar (hippietrail)

http://linguaphile.sf.net/cgi-bin/translator.pl http://www.abisource.com

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