I have raised this question before, back when we were encoding
lots of variants on the Englsh and Latin prayer books. We never did
find a wholly satisfactory encoding for liturgical texts, partly because
they are so various amongst themselves (what works for one will
not necessarily work for another), and partly because they can be
so various within a single text: the div-level organization can be
very confusing, without any clear hierarchy, with one labelled chunk
succeeding another without evident organization; within these
chunks, once finds a mixture of (often unmarked and often abbreviated)
'rubrics' (i.e, instructions, or narratives that serve in place of
descriptions of alternative versions, etc.); readings, often in the
form of quotations or centos of quotations; prayers, sometimes
in the form of litanies, sometimes not; call-and-response type
(antiphons); hymns; etc., all rather jumbled together.
Most of the time, when the format supported it, we opted for
dramatic tags: <speaker> for "Priest:" "People:"; <stage>
for rubrics (instructions); and <sp> for short direct speeches.
But this structure could not be maintained, since dramatically
formatted text would immediately give way to (say)
which might or might not be spoken by the same person who had
just been given a <sp> tag. Leading one to doubt whether to
create a new div at that point; or a floating text within the
currently open <sp>, or something different altogether. We might
start tagging rubrics as <stage>, then find a rubric that turned into
a multi-page commentary, for which <stage> seemed very
awkward at best.
In a word, though we used the drama tags, and supported
their semantic appropriateness, the actual structure of the documents
invariably seemed to make them problematic to apply, or to
apply consistently or confidently. I think in the end we would have
done better to have used a much more generic div/p/seg structure
-- though that has its problems too.
On Mon, Apr 3, 2017, at 14:21, Lou Burnard wrote:
> Well, yes, <seg> CAN be used like that, to cover all sorts of edge
> cases. (Though you may find it needs to be wrapped up in a <p> or
> something similar).
> But if you;re interested in marking up the liturgy semantically, why not
> do the job properly, using <sp> and <p> and <lg> for the various
> scripted parts, and <stage> for the "directions" ? Alternatively, you
> could use <note>, perhaps with a @type attribute to indicate that it's
> an instruction. Either of these options has the advantage that it can
> appear within or between paragraphs.
> On 03/04/17 16:57, Hayim Lapin wrote:
> > Hello all,
> > A colleague working on liturgical texts (in fact, seasonably
> > appropriate: the text for the passover seder) asked how her group
> > might encode liturgical instructions ("here the cup is raised"; "In X
> > circumstances the following is recited").
> > I suggested <seg> using @type and @subtype attributes as necessary to
> > specify further. However, my guess is that there are people on this
> > list who have far more experience than me with this sort of thing.
> > Any suggestions?
> > Many thanks,
> > --
> > Hayim Lapin
> > Professor of History
> > Robert H. Smith Professor of Jewish Studies
> > 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
> > College Park, MD 20190
> > +1 301 405 4296
> > www.digitalmishnah.umd.edu |www.erabbinica.org
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