Chrestomatie: Editorial Guidelines

Table of Contents

[Translation from Porák, Chrestomatie, p. 22ff. in progress.]

Text from the oldest developmental periods of the Czech language can be published either in transliteration (i.e. paleographic) or in transcription (in the Roman alphabet with modern orthography, diacritics, punctuation, etc.). There are various degrees of editorial intervention for both approaches. For example, transcribed editions may leave out various inconsistencies on the part of the author or scribe, or deviations or errors symptomatic of certain phases in the course of various linguistic changes (e.g. hypercorrection). Alternatively, they may take any such inconsistencies (primarily concerning the phonological aspects of the text) and unify and stabilise them in order to reach some kind of idealised period norm. A transliterated edition may be a precise reproduction of the text (a diplomatic edition) or it may try and make the text more comprehensible by introducing various corrections in accordance with contemporary orthographic conventions (particularly with regard to the use of capital letters and punctuation).


In preparing these texts we have followed the following editorial guidelines:

  1. Each text is prepared from a specific manuscript or printing. If the text is preserved in more than one manuscript we have chosen either the oldest, the best, or the one that from a linguistic point of view is most suitable for our purposes.
  2. Extracts have been prepared from the originals or from photocopies.
  3. This is a critical edition; a critical apparatus for each text is given in the notes [for these web pages notes are indicated by highlighted words in the text], which contain individual editorial corrections to the text: we record mistakes in the text, unclear or garbled places that we have corrected, and we always show the text  given in the original. We do not indicate printing errors or corrections that the author or scribe has made in the text himself, e.g. underlining (podtečkování) or crossing out an incorrect letter or word and its correction.
  4. We transcribe the texts in the Latin alphabet, with individual letters and digraphs retaining their contemporary value. We distinguish two types of the letter l as long as there is at least some indication of their differentiation in any given text. This differentiation is made graphically in the case of a hard l in two different ways: in some MSS, especially from the 15th century, a dot is placed above the letter in accordance with Hus's orthography; in these cases we print Ɩ̇. In printings and some MSS from the 16th century and later the so-called l with stroke (similar to our small written l) is used, and in these cases we print ł. We preserve the distinction between s and ſ (long s) because the rules governing the way each letter is used are maintained to a significant degree in older texts.