Encoding Commentaries

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Encoding Commentaries

Hugh Cayless-2
I'm currently working on encoding an ancient commentary—that is, a work that annotates another work, in this case Vergil's Aeneid. The source is arranged thus: there is a lemma, or headword(s), quoting the source, followed by commentary on that word, phrase, or line. This commentary can be lexical, literary, historical, etc. So these works have something in common with dictionaries, but maybe not to the extent that I could use the dictionary elements, even though they might sometimes be apt.

My question is: has anyone worked on this sort of source, and how did you mark up lemmas, etc.? My current thinking is to use <quote type="lemma"> for the headwords, but I'm hopeful there's something better. Or maybe we need a new element?

Thanks,
Hugh
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Re: Encoding Commentaries

Martin Mueller

Couldn’t you just structure as a list and use <label>.  In the “glossary list” (if I get the name right), <label> functions exactly I that way: identifying the object that is explained or talked about in what follow

 

MM

 

From: "TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list" <[hidden email]> on behalf of Hugh Cayless <[hidden email]>
Reply-To: Hugh Cayless <[hidden email]>
Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:02 AM
To: "TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Encoding Commentaries

 

I'm currently working on encoding an ancient commentary—that is, a work that annotates another work, in this case Vergil's Aeneid. The source is arranged thus: there is a lemma, or headword(s), quoting the source, followed by commentary on that word, phrase, or line. This commentary can be lexical, literary, historical, etc. So these works have something in common with dictionaries, but maybe not to the extent that I could use the dictionary elements, even though they might sometimes be apt.

 

My question is: has anyone worked on this sort of source, and how did you mark up lemmas, etc.? My current thinking is to use <quote type="lemma"> for the headwords, but I'm hopeful there's something better. Or maybe we need a new element?

 

Thanks,

Hugh

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Re: Encoding Commentaries

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
In reply to this post by Hugh Cayless-2
> On Dec 5, 2017, at 10:01 AM, Hugh Cayless <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm currently working on encoding an ancient commentary—that is, a work that annotates another work, in this case Vergil's Aeneid. The source is arranged thus: there is a lemma, or headword(s), quoting the source, followed by commentary on that word, phrase, or line. This commentary can be lexical, literary, historical, etc. So these works have something in common with dictionaries, but maybe not to the extent that I could use the dictionary elements, even though they might sometimes be apt.
>
> My question is: has anyone worked on this sort of source, and how did you mark up lemmas, etc.? My current thinking is to use <quote type="lemma"> for the headwords, but I'm hopeful there's something better. Or maybe we need a new element?

Interesting question; thank you!  

It's not completely clear what you are denoting with the word “lemma”
here.

If by “lemma” you mean a word or phrase appearing in the source text,
I believe I have used ‘q’ for that in the past.  That's the sense in
which I would normally interpret 'lemma' in the context of a
commentary (text-critical or other).

If by “lemma” you mean the dictionary or lookup form of a word, as it
might appear in a discussion of the word’s usage, I’ve used
‘mentioned’ for that.  That's the sense suggested by your meditation
on whether to repurpose the element from the dictionary tag set.

To take a concrete example, here is an entry from Max Black, A
Companion to Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus’ (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1964),
p. 115.  For simplicity in the example I've used fairly shallow
markup; in a more serious effort I would mark the bibliographic
citations as units, identify the works from which quotations come (if
not the Tractatus), and schedule a first review of the project's
criteria for distinguishing term, q, mentioned, and gloss (and any
other elements that come elbowing their way into entries), once 1% of
the work has been transcribed, with another review at the 10% mark.

<div class="entry">
  <p>
    <ref target="TLP#s3.262" rend="b">3.262 application</ref>: or,
    <q>use</q>. Cf. <ref target="TLP#s3.326">3.326</ref> on
    <q>significant use</q> and <ref target="TLP#s3.32">3.32</ref> on
    the difference between symbol. and sign. In the light of <ref
    target="TLP#s3.5">3.5</ref>, <mentioned>applied</mentioned> =
    <mentioned>thought</mentioned>.
  </p>
  <p>
    <q>By application I understand whatever makes combinations of
    sounds or strokes into a language. In the sense in which it is the
    application which makes a rod with strokes on it into a
    <term>ruler</term>. The <term>laying</term> (<gloss
    xml:lang="de">Anlegen</gloss>) of language against reality</q>
    (<title>Phil. Bem.</title> 20, 12).
  </p>
  <p>
    In the <title>Tractatus</title>,
    <mentioned>application</mentioned> does not mean
    <mentioned>use</mentioned> in the sense of the
    <title>Investigations</title> (cf. Anscombe,
    <title>Introduction</title>, p. 91&mdash;I agree with her that
    <mentioned>application</mentioned> means <gloss>that kind of
    difference between the syntactical roles of words which concerns a
    logician</gloss>). Cf. <ref target="TLP#s3.327">3.327</ref> on
    <q>logico-syntactic application</q>.
  </p>
</div>


********************************************
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Black Mesa Technologies LLC
[hidden email]
http://www.blackmesatech.com
********************************************
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Re: Encoding Commentaries

Paul Schaffner
In reply to this post by Hugh Cayless-2
On Tue, Dec 5, 2017, at 12:01, Hugh Cayless wrote:

> I'm currently working on encoding an ancient commentary—that is, a work
> that annotates another work, in this case Vergil's Aeneid. The source is
> arranged thus: there is a lemma, or headword(s), quoting the source,
> followed by commentary on that word, phrase, or line. This commentary can
> be lexical, literary, historical, etc. So these works have something in
> common with dictionaries, but maybe not to the extent that I could use
> the
> dictionary elements, even though they might sometimes be apt.
>
> My question is: has anyone worked on this sort of source, and how did you
> mark up lemmas, etc.? My current thinking is to use <quote type="lemma">
> for the headwords, but I'm hopeful there's something better. Or maybe we
> need a new element?

Hugh,

It is probably not surprising that commentaries -- especially
Biblical commentaries but also polemical rebuttals, &c., in
commentary form -- form one of the most popular genres of
16th- and 17th- (and 18th-) century literature.
So we've encoded a lot of commentaries, often multi-volume
works like Wesley's Notes on the New Testament or various
commentaries on the whole Bible.

Most of them can be reduced to basic structures of alternating
quote (we use <q> but no matter) and prose. A few adopt a
text-and-footnote format, but even with most of those we
reverse the priority and make the apparent notes the
main text, and the 'text' the quotes (so, for example, in
the case of Wesley).

The complications arise chiefly from the intersection
of commentary structure with chapter structure. A book
may, for example be thematically arranged by chapter,
but the contents of those chapters contain mostly commentary
on the books and chapters of the Bible--and the divisions
in the one may not correspond with divisions in the other.
In that case, we usually prioritize the book's structure,
and subordinate the commentary structure with divs like
<div type="chapter" n="4 (continued").

Often the commentary can be readily divided into divs
based on the divisions of the original, in which
case it can be convenient to assign a div to each
quoted section of text with its accompanying
commentary.

<div type="chapter" n="1">
  <div type="verse" n="1">
    <q>In the beginning God created the heavens
    and the earth.</q>
    <p>Thus it begins...</p>
  </div>
 
In this last case, we often stretched the meaning
of epigraph to tag commentary-heading-quotations

<div type="book">
<head>GENESIS</head>
 <div type="chapter" n="1">
 <head>CHAPTER 1</head>
  <div type="verse" n="1">
    <epigraph>
    <bibl>Gen. 1:1</bibl>
    <q>In the beginning God created the heavens
    and the earth.</q>
    </epigraph>
    <p>Thus it begins...</p>
  </div>
 
Lots of other variability, but that's the basics
of our simple practice.

pfs



--
Paul Schaffner  Digital Content & Collections
University of Michigan Libraries
[hidden email] | http://www.umich.edu/~pfs/
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Re: Encoding Commentaries

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
In reply to this post by C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
> On Dec 5, 2017, at 10:32 AM, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It's not completely clear what you are denoting with the word “lemma”
> here.
>
> If by “lemma” you mean a word or phrase appearing in the source text,
> I believe I have used ‘q’ for that in the past.  That's the sense in
> which I would normally interpret 'lemma' in the context of a
> commentary (text-critical or other).
>
> If by “lemma” you mean the dictionary or lookup form of a word, as it
> might appear in a discussion of the word’s usage, I’ve used
> ‘mentioned’ for that.  That's the sense suggested by your meditation
> on whether to repurpose the element from the dictionary tag set.

Martin Mueller’s response and a re-reading of your mail suggest
a third option:  by ‘lemma’ you might mean the typographically marked
bit at the beginning of an entry that (a) marks the beginning of a
new entry, (b) labels it, and (c) identifies the passage being
commented on, normally by giving a reference to the location
or quoting the passage, or both.    

In tagging my example, I started to tag it ‘label’, as suggested by MM,
then recollected that “3.362” is a canonical reference to a sentence
in the Tractatus and retagged it ‘ref’.  (And then, uncertain whether one
could count on the rule that the first ‘ref’ element in an entry is
always its label, added rend=“b” to distinguish it from the other
refs in the entry which are not bold.  

In real project work, I would almost certainly introduce project-specific
elements for entries and for their most important structural constituents,
like the reference at the beginning; it makes it easier to write the
rules for encoding the text, it makes it easier to validate the text,
it makes it easier to write stylesheets, and it makes it easier to
distinguish in queries between commentary entries about a particular
passage and references to that passage from entries on other
passages.

But then, I have the impression that I have a lower threshold for
wanting to customize the TEI, and a higher tolerance for extensions,
than many other people.  When encoding a single text, I want to
spend more time worrying about my responsibility to the text than
about ways to get by without customizing the TEI.


********************************************
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Black Mesa Technologies LLC
[hidden email]
http://www.blackmesatech.com
********************************************
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Re: Encoding Commentaries

Hugh Cayless-2
Thanks for the suggestions. In fact, all three of those senses occur in these kinds of text, but I was thinking in particular of the text that occurs at the beginning of an entry, which quotes the source text and which is commented on by the rest of the entry. So yes, it is a kind of label, but it's also a quote, and it is a reference. I'm a little reluctant to use list/label/item, because the lemma may grammatically be part of the comment's sentence, so it seems strange to break it up like that.

For purposes of getting work done, I agree, I'd probably make something up. But with my TEI hat, on, I have to wonder whether this is highlighting a deficit we should address.

On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Dec 5, 2017, at 10:32 AM, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It's not completely clear what you are denoting with the word “lemma”
> here.
>
> If by “lemma” you mean a word or phrase appearing in the source text,
> I believe I have used ‘q’ for that in the past.  That's the sense in
> which I would normally interpret 'lemma' in the context of a
> commentary (text-critical or other).
>
> If by “lemma” you mean the dictionary or lookup form of a word, as it
> might appear in a discussion of the word’s usage, I’ve used
> ‘mentioned’ for that.  That's the sense suggested by your meditation
> on whether to repurpose the element from the dictionary tag set.

Martin Mueller’s response and a re-reading of your mail suggest
a third option:  by ‘lemma’ you might mean the typographically marked
bit at the beginning of an entry that (a) marks the beginning of a
new entry, (b) labels it, and (c) identifies the passage being
commented on, normally by giving a reference to the location
or quoting the passage, or both.

In tagging my example, I started to tag it ‘label’, as suggested by MM,
then recollected that “3.362” is a canonical reference to a sentence
in the Tractatus and retagged it ‘ref’.  (And then, uncertain whether one
could count on the rule that the first ‘ref’ element in an entry is
always its label, added rend=“b” to distinguish it from the other
refs in the entry which are not bold.

In real project work, I would almost certainly introduce project-specific
elements for entries and for their most important structural constituents,
like the reference at the beginning; it makes it easier to write the
rules for encoding the text, it makes it easier to validate the text,
it makes it easier to write stylesheets, and it makes it easier to
distinguish in queries between commentary entries about a particular
passage and references to that passage from entries on other
passages.

But then, I have the impression that I have a lower threshold for
wanting to customize the TEI, and a higher tolerance for extensions,
than many other people.  When encoding a single text, I want to
spend more time worrying about my responsibility to the text than
about ways to get by without customizing the TEI.


********************************************
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Black Mesa Technologies LLC
[hidden email]
http://www.blackmesatech.com
********************************************

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Re: Encoding Commentaries

Dominik Wujastyk
In reply to this post by Hugh Cayless-2
This is a common situation in Sanskrit literature, even the norm.  

See the  TEI/SARIT Guidelines
<http://sarit.indology.info/apps/sarit-pm/docs/encoding-guidelines-simple.html>
for how we recomment people encode this.
Best,
Dominik



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