I can't speak in great detail to the TEI markup and data model you
suggest below, but it occurs to me that there might be parallels between
and value in exploring compatibility with the markup devised for similar
purposes by the Sharing Ancient Wisdoms (SAWS) project: see
One of the aims of this project is to encode multiple mediaeval and
ancient texts, some of which are collections of fragments of earlier
texts, align them to various translations (close or loose) and to other
texts of which they various segments might be copies, paraphrases,
translations, or merely influenced by.
To this end they used (1) CTS URNs (as URIs) for all texts and segments
of texts, enabling pointing in both directions with minimal overhead in
terms of intervention and insertion of ids in the text; (2) an ontology
of text object and relationship types, described at
(probably overkill for your purposes, but a minimal subset of it would
be easy to devise); (3) a series of `tei:relation` elements to define
the relationships between texts, places, persons, and other objects in
I'm not involved in either project, but as a glance it seems to me that
a model along these lines might well work for the issues you are
describing too. If you're interested in more information, I believe one
or two of the SAWS developers are on this list (and they can probably
correct some of my comments above, too).
On 2013-11-07 10:02, Christian Chiarcos wrote:
> Dear list members,
> I am currently working on a massive corpus of verse-aligned religious
> texts (Bibles, mostly, but also Qur'an editions) for linguistic and NLP
> purposes. In the beginning, I've been adapting the CES specifications
> Philipp Resnik developed decades ago for a similar, small-scale project
> (in XML, not his SGML, of course). As we have outgrown the scale of his
> project by lengths, it is about time to update our format to a more
> recent standard, and TEI might be the format of choice.
> Yet, there are certain aspects specific to a parallel corpus of bibles,
> and I was wondering how to represent them with TEI:
> - All bibles share the same set of verse identifiers, but occasionally,
> a set of verses is not translated literally, but loosely translated
> within a larger segment. We introduced an additional attribute altid
> (alternate id), a sequence of NMTOKENS, each of which represents a
> regular bible ID (we did not chose IDREFS because they are not defined
> within the document). What would be the most efficient way to represent
> this properly?
> e.g. a multi-verse segment from a Low German (Westphalian) bible (in our
> <seg altid="b.MAT.17.22 b.MAT.17.23">
> Os soe sik in Galiläa uphoelen, sia Jesus: Doe Minskensuone
> sall baule den Hännen fan den Minsken iutliewert weren. Soe
> weret en dautmaken, owwer am drüdden Dage sall hoe wir upston.
> Do woören soe olle bedroöwet.
> vs. a verse segment in another Low German (Plautdietsch) bible
> <seg id="b.MAT.17.22" type="verse">
> Aus see enn Galilaea eromm jinje, saed Jesus to an: "De
> Menschesaen woat boolt enn Mensche aeare Henj jejaeft woare,
> <seg id="b.MAT.17.23" type="verse">
> en dee woare am doot moake, oba aum drede Dach woat hee fomm
> Doot oppstone." En siene Jinja weare seeha truarich do aewa.
> We query with XQuery across all bibles for a verse ID to compare
> differences across languages and language stages. The altids are
> inspected if a seg with the corresponding ID isn't found.
> - Not only seg, but also div elements may carry the altid attribute,
> e.g., for non-literal poetic bible adaptations where we have chapter- or
> book-level alignment only, but where smaller structures (e.g., l) exist.
> - altid also comes in handy if we want to mark cross-references to other
> bible passages that contain literal repetitions, e.g. (from the 1611
> King James Version):
> <seg id="b.EXO.20.12" altid="b.DEU.5.16" type="verse">
> Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy dayes may bee long
> vpon the land, which the Lord thy God giueth thee.
> <seg id="b.DEU.5.16" altid="b.EXO.20.12" type="verse">
> Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath
> commanded thee, that thy daies may be prolonged, and that it
> may goe well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God
> giueth thee.
> With our querying strategy, these altids will be relevant if we want to
> retrieve matches from a Bible where the exact verse is lost, but a
> near-analogon is found, nevertheless. This specific verse is, for
> example, also quoted several times in the New Testament, and for
> languages with an NT only, we would like to have these matches if we
> query for b.EXO.20.12 or b.DEU.5.16.
> In TEI, the id would correspond to an xml:id, but what would be a good
> strategy to preserve the altid information without creating a large
> overhead (as using the index element would entail) ?
> Thanks a lot,
> Christian Chiarcos
Dr Gabriel BODARD
Researcher in Digital Epigraphy
King's College London
Boris Karloff Building
26-29 Drury Lane
London WC2B 5RL
T: +44 (0)20 7848 1388
E: [log in to unmask]