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To:       Text Encoding Initiative public discussion list
          <[hidden email]>
From:     Ruth Glynn <[hidden email]>

Subject:  OED2e; TEI and (not) OUP

Richard Goerwitz asks rather petulantly what the OED2 is
and Bob Amsler goes part of the way to telling him.

At the risk of being accused of advertising (something else
this list is not for and, of course, to be frowned upon),
may I explain?

The printed Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary
(OED2e) was published in March 1989.  It costs 1500 pounds.

An electronic edition of OED2e was made available this summer
on magnetic tape.  An educational licence costs 6,500 pounds
(10,000 dollars); a commercial licence costs 15,000 pounds
(25,000 dollars).  The text on the tape has been marked up
using a tagging scheme BASED on SGML, and it is sold *cold*
 -- i.e. no software is distributed with it.  Full documenta-
tion on the text and the tagging scheme is provided with the
    It is entirely up to purchasers to use whatever software
they want to in order to access the data.  OUP does, however,
recommend PAT/LECTOR.  This software is available from Open
Text (Unit 622, Waterloo Town Square, Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 1P2: Tel.: (519) 746 8288).

If you want the leaflet on the mag tape, please email me
DIRECT with your postal address and I will see that our
publicity office sends you a copy.  If you want Open Text's
glossy on PAT/LECTOR, then you should contact them direct.

For the record:

(1) The entire Dictionary is held in a database at the Press.
It is not available for consultation by anyone outside OUP.

(2) The CD-ROM of OED2e should be available
from April 1992.  There is no publicity material yet, nor
has pricing been agreed.


Finally, the fact that OED2 should appear as an item on this
discussion list is something of a puzzle to me.  I should perhaps
say, therefore, that the tagging scheme used for the OED2e has
absolutely nothing to do with the TEI (which was probably not
even a twinkle in anyone's eye when the electronic preparation
of the Dictionary began).

Nor is the TEI anything to do with OUP.  We do, however, happen
to think that the proposed TEI scheme is to be encouraged and
applauded, and we intend to apply it to all of our electronic
texts when it is suitably developed.  While we wish it every
success, we have no say-so at all in its development -- although
we are as free to comment on the proposal as anyone else in this

Ruth Glynn
Oxford Electronic Publishing, OUP

Date:         Thu, 3 Mar 1994 15:17:15 CST
Reply-To:     Patrick Durusau <[hidden email]>
Sender:       "TEI-L:  Text Encoding Initiative public discussion list"
              <[hidden email]>
From:         Patrick Durusau <[hidden email]>

I previously posted the following questions to TEI-L, ANE, CAAL and
SGML-L. This is a cross-posted summary of the replies, please pardon any

>1. Are there any present efforts to create WSDs (Writing System
>Declarations) that conform to the guidelines in TEI P2, Chapter WD
>(Draft Version 2, September 20, 1993) for any of the languages found in
>Labat's *Manuel dEpigraphie Akkadiene?

None of the responses received indicated the existence of any present
projects to create WSDs for any language written in Cuneiform script.

Note, copies of the TEI Writing System Declaration guidelines may be
obtained from the [hidden email] with the message "get P2WD.DOC"
or from the ftp site at sgml1.ex.ac.uk.

>2. Would anyone reading this message be interested in forming an ad hoc
>group for the purpose of creating such WSDs?

(Given the small number of replies, I thought it best to include the
relevant parts of all responses.  It has the advantage of conveying
interests and experience of the respondents in their own words.)

>>From Harry Gaylord ([hidden email])

Yes TEI would like very much to have a wsd for cuneiform. I am chairman of
the relevant technical group. Please would anyone wanting to cooperate on
this work contact me directly.

>>From Jill Hart ([hidden email])

I was very interested to see your message, and would also like to
know the answer to your first question. I am working on Hittite and
many years ago put some Hittite texts on computer, for which I had to
devise as it were a transliteration of the conventional transliterations,
marking Sumerograms and Akkadograms as well as normal Hittite spellings
with the limited means then available. The end-product of course
contained layers of interpretation which took it a long way from the
strings of raw cuneiform in the original texts. There is the problem of
multiple values of signs, and different cuneiform corpora from various sites
having their own selections of values, so producing a convention for
uniquely representing each sign would only be the first step. Susan Hockey
at CETH would be an ideal person to talk to about this: I've tried to
forward your message to her, but she's probably seen it anyway. I look
forward to seeing what replies you get from elsewhere.
Best wishes, Jill Hart.

>>From Steve Tinney ([hidden email]

A friend on the ANE list forwarded your appeal to me, and I thought I
should at least touch base. I must say up-front that I am sceptical
about the value of such encodings because I don't really see who would
use them for publication, or what benefit they would bring over and
above the other methods of disseminating the material. I'm willing
to be convinced, though! I have something of an insider's view on this,
so I may be missing more general points.


Steve Tinney                                        Babylonian Section
                   University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania
[hidden email]                     Phila, PA. 215-898-4047

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen  (U35395%[hidden email])

>1. Are there any present efforts to create WSDs (Writing System
>Declarations) that conform to the guidelines in TEI P2, Chapter WD
>(Draft Version 2, September 20, 1993) for any of the languages found in
>Labat's *Manuel dEpigraphie Akkadiene?

As you know from Harry Gaylord's reply to you, there have been none
yet, but the TEI would certainly like to encourage such efforts.

>2. Would anyone reading this message be interested in forming an ad hoc
>group for the purpose of creating such WSDs?

You may count me in --- not as a reader of cuneiform, but as someone
interested in ensuring that WSDs can be made to work properly for
such scripts.

>>From Lloyd Anderson ([hidden email])

Am very much interested in what you propose for Cuneiform, but interpretation
is always involved to the extent of identifying which sign is present (though
not necessarily in identifying what its transliteration value is, etc.).  I
assume you mean a coding of the Cuneiform signs as Cuneiform signs?

I have investigated the matter of a standard coding for the purposes of the
international code standard committees.  Do you have recommended lists?  I
forget just now which ones came most hightly recommended, but I think it was
near 200-300 interpretations for a total of some 600 signs?  Or the reverse of

At Ecological Linguistics we are very interested in producing fonts for these,
and I am sending you a sample of the quality we produced for the very small set
of Persian Cuneiform.  There are of course violent stylistic preferences in the
field, open (line-drawn) vs. filled (black) signs, etc.

What is not possible for computer coding is to represent a photograph of some
specialist's hand drawing of the signs, since there are no two tokens of the
same sign in that sense.

I have not posted this to any of the other lists, although am on the CAAL, and
I thought ANE but did not yet at least receive your message through them.  What
are the other lists you mention?

Lloyd Anderson, Ecological Linguistics

>>From Neel Smith ([hidden email])

I would be very interested in a cuneiform wsd -- or wsd's, since it
seems to me that, e.g., Akkadian and Hittite (the only two cuneiform
languages I've studied) would require separate (although in some ways
quite similar) wsd's.

Neel Smith
[hidden email]

From: Jeff Lloyd ([hidden email])

Patrick Durusau,

I have rather belatedly come to your message of last week concerning
WSDs. I find the idea very interesting, especially in my own interest
of Ugaritic texts. At the moment I am writing up my PhD to a deadline
of the end of this month, so I am unable to contribute much at the
moment, although I imagine that by mid-march (when I've recovered) I
would be able to devote some time to this.

My original question on Ugaritic encoding stems from my inputting of
Ug texts onto my own computer in order to search for specific text,
etc. I use a transliteration font at the moment, but if I want to
send my data to colleagues, the text becomes garbled. Some kind of
ASCII compatible standard would be ideal. I am unaware of the TEI
guidelines you mention in your original posting. Do you have an
electronic version that you could send me to look over?

I wish you luck with your idea, and if I continue at Edinburgh after
I finish, I will be in touch in the spring.

Best wishes,

Jeff LloydJeff Lloyd                               [hidden email]
New College                              [hidden email]
University of Edinburgh