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Normalisation (also spelt normalization) takes place when the orthography (or other aspects of the language) of a text is changed in order to make it correspond to a certain standard. This happened to early (i.e. pre-classical) Greek and Latin texts, which underwent a process of orthographical modernisation in the classical or later periods. This happened during the Roman Empire to certain Greek texts not originally written in classical Attic Greek, when Attic forms and inflection sometimes replaced other forms.

This also happened in the high Middle Ages to some texts which had been written or copied in the early Middle Ages. The language in some Latin and Greek texts which were copied in the early Middle Ages has in some cases been altered considerably in the transmission due to “vulgarisation” vulgarisationof the language of the original text. From around 800 there was a renaissance for classical studies in both Byzantium and in the West (in the West due to the Carolingian reform). As a result, the general knowledge about the classical forms of language improved during the following centuries. In the manuscripts to certain texts, we can see that some scribes tried to improve the language in the texts – especially in texts which had been “vulgarised” during the early Middle Ages. In the West, there was in the 10th and 11th centuries sometimes even a tendency to “correct” certain linguistic features, which were quite normal in late literary Latin, and to replace them with the corresponding classical expressions.

Certain texts – many technical handbooks but also some texts written by known historical persons – are thus affected by both “vulgarisation” (in the early Middle Ages) and “normalisation” (in the high Middle Ages).

Certain orthographical features In the course of the process of editing a text, especially when using computer-assisted methods to study its development and transmission, certain orthographical features of the text – such as the use of capital letters, use of ‘v’ instead of ‘u’, ‘c’ instead of ‘t’ and the versatile use of ‘e’, ‘ae’ and e caudata (ę) – are of little importance in a stemmatological study of the transmission of a textmay need to be unified, since such features are subject to much variation in the manuscript traditions. Even this may be referred to as “normalisation”.

Cf. Vulgarisation.



DE: Normalisierung
FR: normalisation
IT: normalizzazione
FI: normalisointi