The value of such an investigation as this depends upon the reliability of the methods employed; these I wish to sketch briefly.
Harrison and Sharp's ‘Béowulf,’ after careful collation with Zupitza's ‘Autotypes,’ with additional correction for quantity, has furnished the text of the poem. Every word of this text, every variation of stem, has been, by independent investigation, reduced to the West-Germanic form. The data for this step were furnished by the vocabularies and lexicons cited below, and the processes involved were pursued under the guidance of the grammars also cited in the subjoined list. The lists of words thus obtained were classified, and checked against the lists of Cook, Cosijn, Fischer, and Leioing, and all important disagreements noted. Where further investigation seemed to justify former conclusions, a reference to the author in question has been entered in the work.