Martin Mueller wrote:
> What are good ways of encoding the following stretch, a typical
> example in Joyce's Ulysses:
> -- Tell me now, Stephen said, poking the boy's shoulder with the
> book, what is a pier.
> There is one paragraph and one speech, but the speech is interrupted
> by a stretch of narrative that serves to identify the speaker.
That's the way things go in texts! If you want to distinguish the
reporting clause ("Stephen said") from the action associated with it
("poking ...") why not proceed to make a full syntactic analysis?
In P1 I proposed a special tag (<inquot> I think) to mark reporting
clauses of this kind. I was persuaded, I think rightly, that this was an
unnecessary refinement. Any writer of English knows that there are so
many opportunities for interruption (eg embedding clauses like the "I
think rightly" in the previous sentence) just like the straightforward
"he said" type, that it seems highly dubious to single them out. And if
there are more boundary cases than the boundary delimits, then the
boundary is probably not worth the candle.
> In a
> distant way, the narrative could be interpreted as a kind of stage
> direction. So it would not be absurd to do something like
> <sp who="Stephen"><p>Tell me now, <stage> Stephen said, poking the
> boy's shoulder with the book,</stage>what is a pier</p></sp>
Well not absurd perhaps, but decidedly misleading, unless you think that
this is really a piece of drama, presented as theatre. There are other
places in Ulysses where you could make such a claim and where Joyce does
approximate a real theatrical discourse, but I don't think this is one
I apologise to coming to the table late with this comment -- I only just
got back from my hols.