The Middle English Grammar Corpus (MEG-C)

The Middle English Grammar Corpus (MEG-C) image

The Middle English Grammar Corpus (MEG-C) consists of samples of Middle English texts, transcribed from manuscript or facsimile reproduction.


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The Middle English Grammar Corpus (MEG-C) is a purpose-built text corpus consisting of samples of English texts from the period 1300-1500. All texts have been transcribed from the manuscript or from facsimile reproductions of the manuscript. The Corpus is intended both as an independent research tool and as the basis for a new description of linguistic variation and change in Middle English.

The Corpus is part of the Middle English Scribal Texts Programme (MEST), and will form an important part of the source materials for the further work on the project. The aim is to study Middle English linguistic variation in its historical, social and material context, and to produce corpora based on transcriptions from manuscript or facsimile.

While MEG originally aimed at a single reference grammar based on the LALME material, MEST aims at a series of 'grammars' of a more unconventional kind: its objective is to transcribe and study Middle English texts in groups that may be viewed as 'text communities', defined on the basis of categories such as genre, text type, domain, or geographical area.


This resource is of particular interest for Middle English language studies, grammar and dialect.

The MEG-C corpus contains samples of the texts mapped in the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (LALME). The intention has been to include as many of the texts mapped in LALME as possible; this will amount to 900-1,000 texts. Shorter texts are included in their entirety and longer ones in 3,000-word samples. The geographical scope of the Corpus is confined to England and Wales, organised by the counties within which the texts were mapped in LALME. This does not necessarily reflect actual geographical realities.

The Corpus is provided in three versions: MEG-C Base preserves the project's own coding and commentary, and gives the fullest information about the text as it appears in the manuscript. MEG-C Readable is designed for easier reading and browsing. MEG-C Concordance provides text files that are especially designed for use with a concordancer or other corpus software.

Introductory reading

A.McIntosh, M.L.Samuels and M.Benskin, A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. Aberdeen: AUP, 1986.

Technical Methods

p>Most of the texts were transcribed from facsimile reproductions (or the manuscript itself). A few were initially transcribed from diplomatic editions, subsequently corrected against the manuscript or a reproduction. Transcription conventions are based on those used in LALME.

Special Characters

The resource includes the searchable special characters thorn (þ, Þ), eth (ð, Đ) and yogh (ȝ, Ȝ).

About the project

The Middle English Scribal Texts Programme (MEST) is a continuation of the Middle English Grammar project (MEG) that has been ongoing since 1998 at the Universities of Stavanger and Glasgow. The MEG-C Corpus is published on the University of Stavanger website. The main project team members are Merja Stenroos, Martti Mäkinen, Simon Horobin and Jeremy Smith. Funding by the Norwegian Research Council from 2006-2010 facilitated the publication of the Corpus.


Contact page

Search Middle English Grammar

Source Types

  • Literary Manuscripts
  • Non-literary Manuscripts
  • Official Documents


  • Transcriptions


  • language
  • grammar
  • regional dialects


  • English


  • Free

Time Period



Universities of Glasgow and Stavanger

Cite this page:

"Middle English Grammar" Manuscripts Online (, version 1.0, 29 November 2023),