|The orthography of machine-readable Neolatin texts: A plaidoyer for minimal intervention|
The user's needs and expectations
Large corpora of machine-readable texts make new kinds of research possible (e.g. phonetics). We should not preclude this by destroying the evidence on which such research could be based.
cygnus/cycnus: A cursory study of the available texts seems to indicate that cygn- prevails in earlier texts, while cycn- is the spelling prevalent in the later part of our period. This may reflect a growing tendency towards etymologically correct spelling. cicnus in Verino may be influenced by late Byzantine pronunciation. Evidence for this development should not be destroyed by standardization.
Partial changes in a text increase the confusion instead of decreasing it. How should the reader know where we changed ? And what standard we are following ?
Since uniformity may be unattainable, we should not lead the user to expect it. In many cases we will leave the user guessing what we consider the norm.