This paper deals with extant written records from Portuguese past stages (Medieval period) that are explored as sources for linguistic diachronic studies. Its objective is to argue that, complementarily to the retrieving of data from (smaller or larger) text corpora, the close analysis of an individual «witness» (as opposed to the somewhat vague concept of «text», in particular in the medieval domain) may enable the retrieving of relevant linguistic data. To support this claim, two types of examples are presented: the close analysis of some editorial corrections (in editions of late 13th century texts) and the comparison and description of variants from two witnesses of the same text (late 15th century). In both cases, the linguistic data which are described are only accessible in the editions' critical apparatus, which leads to the discussion of how to eventually make this data accessible also in text corpora.
- history of Portuguese