During copying, the mode of text multiplication before the age of the printing press, scribes often made various mistakes that were then emended either immediately or upon a subsequent reading of what they had written. Such slips of the pen can be seen as the written-language equivalents of disfluency phenomena that, however, raise specific problems due to their historical nature. In the same way as psycholinguistic research uses spoken patterns of disfluency to draw conclusions pertaining to mental processes of the speech production mechanism, errors and corrections from the Old Hungarian period reveal the grammatical and linguistic awareness of the scribes, including its less obvious aspects or layers, in a historical perspective. This paper analyses this particular problem area of historical-scribal disfluency phenomena, trying to approach them - on the basis of the author's experiences with the publication of old manuscripts - from two directions: by presenting the errors committed by a 16th-century scribe (Marta Sovenyhazi) and by discussing some typical phenomena occurring in emendations found in the codices she had copied.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.