I understand your reservations, Tim, being, as you know, trained in the
same school as you on papyrological matters. However, it bothers me much
less than it seems to do you to represent Leiden square brackets by
and other types of restoration (abbreviation, erroneous omission, etc.) by
The invention of a new element to fill any of these functions would be,
for me, semantic sugar for the above. Fine, of course, if you prefer
that, but not especially necessary.
Tim Finney a écrit :
> I'm happy with everything except point 3, my reservation being due to my
> understanding of the Leiden conventions used by papyrologists. Of
> course, the TEI should not be constrained by what one specialist group
> does. Nevertheless, here is an attempt to explain my unease.
> The relevant parts of the Leiden conventions may be summarised thus
> (from "Note on the Method of Publication and Abbreviations" in recent
> vols of the _Oxyrhynchus Papyri_); my suggestions for TEI conversions
> are given as well:
> a\.b\.c\. (\. means dot under the preceding letter.)
> <unclear cert="doubtful">abc</unclear>
> The letters are doubtful.
> <unclear cert="unread">...</unclear>
> Approx. three letters remain unread by the editor.
> The letters are lost, but restored from a parallel or by conjecture.
> <gap reason="lost" extent="3"/>
> Approx. three letters are lost.
> ( )
> <choice><abbr type="nomen sacrum">ΘΣ</abbr><expan>ΘΕΟΣ</expan></choice>
> Round brackets indicate the resolution of an abbreviation or a symbol.
> The problem arises as follows. As a papyrology novice I was commanded to
> only use square brackets for something that is really lost. I remember
> being told, "Even if the slightest trace of a letter remains, it belongs
> outside square brackets." An unreadable trace is what the bare dots
> "..." are for--letters unread by the editor. (Note: these bare dots
> appear outside square brackets. E.g. time fl... li\.ke an arro[w].)
> It seems to me that "doubtful" text and "letters unread" should both be
> converted to TEI in the same way: using the <unclear> element with a
> type attribute indicating what variety of unclear. This is because in my
> mind the difference between the two categories is one of degree:
> "doubtful" for any letter of which a trace remains that the editor
> thinks is a good bet, and "unread" for such a letter that due to the
> extent of damage could be anything. The trace may be insubstantial.
> Nevertheless, if there is a trace, the transcription should indicate the
> By analogy with the papyrological injunction against using square
> brackets for anything but lost text, I reserve <supplied> exclusively
> for letters that are lost. This goes against the TEI definition, which
> allows <supplied> to be used for letters that are damaged as well as for
> those that are lost. I wish that the TEI definition of supplied would
> drop the "due to damage" part and only allow supplied to be used for
> text that is well and truly lost, with not the slightest bit remaining.
> So the cause of my unease is a dogged determination to reserve
> <supplied> for text that really is lost. This is also the reason for my
> distaste of <supplied> or <supp> to expand abbreviations.
> Tim Finney
> On Sun, 2007-03-11 at 13:45 +0000, Lou Burnard wrote:
>> I promised I would summarize the consensus on this issue, and to some
>> extent my "strawman" proposal of 21 feb was meant to do that. For
>> avoidance of doubt, however, here's what I am now proposing to implement
>> in P5 with regard to this issue:
>> 1. Make explicit that <expan> should contain the full expanded form of
>> an abbreviation, not just a part of it.
>> 2. Explicitly licence the Bodard Practice (this is the use of <abbr>
>> within <expan> to mark the part/s abbreviated)
>> 3. Make explicit that <supplied> can be used to supply three kinds of
>> editorial addition
>> (a) letters that are legitimately missing from the original e.g. within
>> an expansion
>> (b) letters that are accidentally missing from the original e.g. by
>> scribal error
>> (c) letters that are missing from the original because of damage or
>> other non scribal reason
>> I have invented the term "legitimately" to describe the first case: I
>> hope it is clear what I mean -- if you could point the omission out to
>> the scribe he would look at you a bit funny like and say "quid?".
>> Whereas in the second case, he would probably say "Doh!" and slap his
>> pate. Certainly there does seem to be a general agreement that the above
>> three cases should be distinguished. There is less consensus on whether
>> the distinction should be made by a type attribute or a distinct
>> element, and if the latter what it should be called (the names <e> and
>> <supp> were both proposed, but neither got much support, even from their
>> I toyed with, and have not yet definitively abandoned, the notion of a
>> generic "editorial intervention" element <ed> which could be used to
>> delimit *anything* not present in the original source but supplied by
>> an editor, without further precision as to whether it is the result of a
>> correction, an expansion, a regularization or whatever. This would
>> parallel the use of <hi> as a generic marker for "stuff that looks
>> different but I haven't time or energy to explain why". And you could
>> use it instead of <supplied type="a"> .
>> I quite like this idea myself, probably on account of being incorrigibly
>> lazy. I am not sure though whether it's a good idea to encourage this in
Dr Gabriel BODARD
Inscriptions of Aphrodisias
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
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