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Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey (ASPNS): Fourth Annual Report


Dr C. P. Biggam, Director of ASPNS, Univ. of Glasgow

ASPNS made two contributions to the Twelfth International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, held in the University of Glasgow August 21-26, 2002. Firstly, I read a paper entitled "Juniper in Anglo-Saxon England." This will not appear in the conference proceedings, as the word-studies involved will be included in the first volume of collected plant-name studies to appear in the ASPNS series (publication will be in 2004 at the earliest). Secondly, ASPNS presented its new database, LPNAD, at the conference's software demonstration session. LPNAD stands for "Latin Plant-Name Associations Database," compiled by me (on paper), and turned into a fully functioning database by Flora Edmonds of the Department of English Language, University of Glasgow. LPNAD can now be seen on the ASPNS web-site at http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLang/ihsl/projects/plants.htm.

The ultimate goal of LPNAD is to record all the associations of the Latin plant-names of Anglo-Saxon England, in whatever language they occur. In other words, whenever a plant-name is presented in contemporary records as being a synonym, translation, or some other form of close associate of a Latin plant-name, it will appear on the database, along with its associations. At this stage in the construction process, there is no intention to record plant-names without any associations, or Old English plant-names with only non-Latin associations, so LPNAD will not be a complete record of the Latin plant-names, and even less, of all the plant-names of Anglo-Saxon England. Nonetheless, it is hoped it will be of service to the ASPNS authors, in the process of collecting evidence for their word-studies. Work on the database has commenced with the recording of a single glossary, and more material will be added as time permits. Researchers can see exactly which texts have been entered on LPNAD by consulting the "Texts Analyzed" web-page, and they are encouraged to read the introductory material to understand the limitations and value of the database.

It was a disappointment that the proceedings of the first ASPNS symposium were not published in 2002, mainly because our publisher changed its policy on the acceptable format of "manuscripts," but it is likely that 2003 will finally see the publication of these varied and interesting papers.

The links ("Other Relevant Sites") page of the ASPNS web-site was revised and expanded in 2002, and work is ongoing to revise the ASPNS Bibliography, section by section.

Thanks are due to those who have helped with ASPNS queries in the past year, and, as always, to the Department of English Language, and Institute for the Historical Study of Language, both at the University of Glasgow.

January 2002



Banham, Debby, "Investigating the Anglo-Saxon materia medica: Latin, Old English and Archaeobotany," The Archaeology of Medicine, ed. Robert Arnott, BAR [British Archaeological Reports] International Series 1046 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2002), 95-99.

Biggam, C. P., "Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey (ASPNS): Second Annual Report," Old English Newsletter 34.3 (Spring 2001), 9-11.

Biggam, C.P., ed., From Earth to Art: the Many Aspects of the Plant-World in Anglo-Saxon England: Proceedings of the First ASPNS Symposium, University of Glasgow, 5-7 April 2000 (forthcoming).

Unebe, Noriko, "Uses of Seaweed in Anglo-Saxon England: From an Ethnographic Angle," Journal of Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University, Humanities and Social Science 41 (2001), 85-94 [not reported last year].