Further to what Lou says below, to me use of @xml:lang on <bibl> describes
the language of the citation itself except when overridden by @xml:lang on
descendants. That is, in some citation forms there are words like "in:" and
abbreviations like "ed." that are used regardless of the language of the
document being cited. <bibl xml:lang="___">, if used, should match the
language of these connector words.
As others have said, there are cases where the title of a work is in one
language but the whole work is in another. Like others, I can't think of
any way of stating this in a bibliographic description except as a note in
prose, which would just be encoded in a <note>.
If you need to support the use case of finding all books in Russian
regardless of the language of the title, you should first consider whether
you mean to support "finding all books originally in Russian (though perhaps
not in translation) regardless of the language of the title". In either
case, you will either need to adapt <note> in a way that makes it
machine-readable, such as always using type="language-of-document" and
having as its content only values that conform to BCP 47. Or you should
just use a more metadata format designed for library catalogs, where there
is an established way to record such metadata. MARC and MARCXML surely
support it, and MODS might even do so.
On Wed, 6 Apr 2011 09:54:17 +0100, Lou Burnard
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>If you say
><bibl xml:lang="ru"><title xml:lang="en">War and
>Peace</title><author xml:lang="en">Leo Tolstoy</author></bibl>
>you are saying
>a) the content i.e. all the children of the <bibl>, including attribute
>values , CDATA fragments, and recursively the content of its child
>elements, are to be treated as being in Russian
>b) the content of the <title> and <author> over-ride this by specifying
>that their contents are actually in English
>In this case, the same effect would be obtained by putting xml:lang="EN"
>on the <bibl> obviously. But if there were some other content, such as
>some CDATA, or some other non xml:lang-bearing element, then that would
>be in Russian.
>I don't think there are any, but if there were some properties of being
>in Russian which affected the layout of the child elements then that
>would apply. For example, if the <bibl> cited some language written
>right to left, I would be unsurprised to find the order of the child
>elements reversed by a canny formatting engine.
>Crucially your are NOT saying anything about the original language of
>the abstract entity which this <bibl> refers to. If I say <ref
>target="#foo" xml:lang="FR">voir aussi</ref>, I am telling you that the
>phrase "voir aussi" is in French, not that the thing pointed to by #foo
>is in French.