Transcription criteria

A grapheme is the smallest functional unit of a writing system (Sánchez-Prieto Borja 1988: 77). The transcription of the manuscripts in Universo Cantigas is graphemic, meaning that allographic variants are not represented unless they correspond to a different phoneme. The transcription also omits non-graphemic marks, such as lengthened letters and elements used by the copyist to fill up the text box, despite their frequent occurrence in the different codices. Finally, the transcription does not include the numerous vertical line-break marks from the Cancioneiro da Ajuda, traced initially in a writing material similar to pencil and not always inked over subsequently.
The transcription criteria used for this edition are as follows:

1. Abbreviations. Abbreviations are reproduced as they occur in the text and are not resolved, even in italics, as this ‘is not fully consistent with the requirement of critical coherence in palaeographical transcription’ (Sánchez-Prieto Borja 1988: 91). A distinction is therefore made between signs which are abbreviations and signs which have an expletive function, based on a prior analysis of the characteristics of the text (Sánchez-Prieto Borja 1988: 92, n. 11). In Henry H. Carter’s (2007 [1941]) transcription of songbook A, for example, dotted y is systematically marked as <y>. This element is not reproduced in the transcription because it has a diacritical function.
As regards the position of the abbreviation, nasal tildes and abbreviation marks are transcribed over the element on which they are superscribed in the manuscript. In cases where the abbreviation mark extends rightwards beyond the original grapheme, the transcription restores the mark to its starting point.
Many of the abbreviations in the manuscripts consist of a superscript letter representing the omitted part of the word. This is placed over the first letter of the abbreviated syllable, simplifying the appearance of the word to such an extent that it sometimes bears only a vague resemblance to the original. Abbreviating superscript letters, usually consisting of the vowels <e, i> or the consonant <r>, are transcribed to the right of the base letter of the abbreviation (e.g. qis > quis, melhr > melhor).
The morphology of the different abbreviation marks found in the manuscripts (all taken from Latin) varies not only according to the cancioneiro in which they appear or the type of script used, but also from scribe to scribe, and even within the work of a single copyist. As part of the transcription process, therefore, a single conventional mark was adopted to replace all of the variant forms of each abbreviation, which ultimately share the same origin and meaning despite their contrasting graphic representation. Just a small set of conventional, computer-readable symbols are required to represent the full multiplicity of abbreviations attested in the manuscript while at the same time preserving the palaeographical characteristics of the text.
A macron is used over vowels to indicate nasality or the abbreviation of an implosive nasal consonant (e.g. hūa > ūa, bē > ben), and in replacement of the abbreviating (usually horizontal) 1dash (e.g. q̄ > que¸ ds̄ > deus, soƀ > sobre, tr̄ra > terra).
The different types of curved and wavy macron used to indicate a vowel followed (and occasionally preceded) by r (i.e. -ar, -er, -ir, -ro, -or, -ur, -ra, -re…) are represented as <  ̃> (e.g. t̃stura > tristura, m̃te > morte etc.)2
The abbreviation similar to an open-top a, derived from the Visigothic form of the letter a, which occurs with the consonants <g> and <q> with the sounds -ua and (to a much lesser extent) -a, is transcribed as <w> (e.g. mingʷ > mingua, pagwr > pagar, logwr > logar, qwl > qual). 3The same mark, with slight variations, is used to abbreviate the sounds -ra, -ar, -uar; this use is transcribed as <w> in Ajuda and as <  ̃ > in BV (e.g. dout͂ > doutra, p̃zer > prazer, rog̃ > rogar, g̃dar > guardar).
The abbreviation mark used to denote -er, -re, -ir, which varies from a raised comma to a vertical zigzag similar to a lightning bolt, is transcribed as <’> (e.g. faz’ > fazer, semp’ > sempre, etc.)
The mark used to abbreviate the sounds -os, -us is transcribed as <ꝯ>. The Tironian sign for the conjunction e is realised as <ꞇ>. The different abbreviation marks involving <p> are transcribed as follows: <p̄> por, per, pre, <ꝑ> per, <ꝓ> pro; and <ƥ> ser. Finally, the rare occurrences of abbreviated -run, -ron are transcribed as <ꝝ>.
2. Spelling, punctuation and word division. The transcription respects the original spelling of the manuscript, including double letters and the use of upper and lower case. The scribal pattern of word separation is also preserved; it should be noted that the presence or absence of a space between words is not always clear, however, and so an alternative transcription may be possible in some instances. In the case of forms and sequences in the manuscript where the initial capital letter or decorated majuscule is slightly separated from the following miniscule, the transcription maintains the unity of the word, since the unity or separation of the word in the manuscript is determined by the size and shape of the majuscule and its effect on the layout of the text.
Punctuation marks are transcribed after the preceding word, with a space after but not before.
Other features of the manuscripts are reproduced using the following editorial conventions:
  • folios are numbered using the abbreviation f., together with the corresponding number and indication of recto [f. 1r] or verso [f. 1v]. Columns are referred to by the letters a and b [col. a], [col. b].
  • manuscript deletions (by scraping, subpunction or strike-through) are indicated in round brackets (…)
  • interlinear insertions are placed between diagonal strokes \…/; in the case of A, insertions made in the margin of the verso page which are contemporary with the copy are transcribed in curly brackets {…} when made by the reviser, and in angle brackets <…> when made by the corrector (cfr. Pedro 2016 [2004]). When the authorship of the insertion is unclear, the text is transcribed unmarked in the corresponding margin. Later marginalia are recorded in the footnotes.
  • also in A, guide letters for capital letters and majuscules are transcribed in square brackets: [A]; where the guide letter is not marked, it is transcribed as […].
The work is guided by the principle of non-intervention in the text, as in any palaeographical transcription. The base text is therefore transcribed in its original, uncorrected form, with emendations introduced only in the critical edition. Footnotes are used to comment on uncertain interpretations, features of the manuscript and other issues.