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BACKGROUND
I am working for the project "A historical corpus of the Welsh language".
We plan to set up an electronic collection of Modern and Early Modern
Welsh texts. We are using TEI for the corpus.
Since we wanted to find out what kinds of problems might arise in using
TEI, we started with a text that would address several areas of TEI: a
17th c Welsh versified drama from a manuscript (unedited).
I would be very grateful for any comments or advice - or confirmation
concerning the problem discussed below.

Examples are made up, but reflect the respective problems; tagging has
often been simplified in order to highlight the point in question.
Occasional text content has been supplied for illustration only
and does not reflect the quality of the original text.

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MISSING VERSE LINE LEADING TO AMBIGUOUS STANZA TYPE(S)

At one point in our text one line is obviously missing, either through a
mistake in transmission, or, which is more likely, because the poet
didn't compose it in the first place.

This makes it impossible to determine the stanza type(s) of the passage.

The case is slightly complicated.

Two types of stanza occur in the text:
- a two-line stanza (let's call it "couplet"), with end-rhyme.
- a four-line stanza ("quatrain"), with lines 1, 2, 4 rhyming,
and with line 3 rhyming with the word before the caesura in line 4.

Example illustrating the quatrain-type:

[Knight speaking]

        <lg type="quatrain">
        <l n="1"> Let's face it: I am just not cool, </l>
        <l n="2"> a knight in name, in truth a fool. </l>
        <l n="3"> This job's a joke, and I am bored. </l>
        <l n="4"> I loathe my sword, <caesura> the silly tool. </l>
        </lg>

Now, if line 3 is dropped:

        <l n="1"> Let's face it: I am just not cool, </l>
        <l n="2"> a knight in name, in truth a fool. </l>
        <l n="3"> I loathe my sword, the silly tool. </l>

it is no longer possible to determine whether you are dealing with an
incomplete quatrain, or a complete couplet + an incomplete couplet (in
random order!). The original could, for instance, have been
(intended as) something like this:


        <lg type="couplet">
        <l n="1"> Let's face it: I am just not cool, </l>
        <l n="2"> a knight in name, in truth a fool. </l>
        </lg>

        <lg type="couplet">
        <l n="3"> I loathe my sword, the silly tool, </l>
        <l n="4"> and always have, since Butch'ring School. </l>
        </lg>


Now, as far as the stanza type is concerned, the three lines in question
could just be marked up as:

        <lg type="unknown">
        <l n="1"> Let's face it: I am just not cool, </l>
        <l n="2"> a knight in name, in truth a fool. </l>
        <l n="3"> I loathe my sword, the silly tool. </l>
        </lg>

and we could be done with it.

But now imagine something like the above is split between two speakers:

[Damsel]
        <lg>
        <l n="1"> Let's face it: you are just not cool. </l>
        </lg>

[Knight]
        <lg>
        <l n="2"> Awright, don't call me knight but fool. </l>
        <l n="3"> I loathe my sword, that silly tool. </l>
        </lg>

While both line groups could still be termed as of an "unknown" type, how
does one tag them for PART?
The Knight's speech (lines 2+3, either a complete couplet, an incomplete
couplet or part of an incomplete quatrain), could be part="n" (ie,
complete or no claim made).
But the Damsel's speech (line 1) could be an incomplete
couplet, or go together with line 2 to form a couplet (with line 3 left
dangling), or could go together with 2 and 3 to form an incomplete
quatrain. It can't be tagged as part="n", as it is definitely not
complete, at least being the initial part of something; and the (possible)
stanzaic connection between the two speeches would be lost.

And so am I.

P.S.
After some more thinking I've come up with this solution:

[Damsel]
        <lg type="unknown" part=i>
        <l n="1"> Let's face it: you are just not cool. </l>
        </lg>

[Knight]
        <lg type="unknown" part=f>
        <l n="2"> Awright, don't call me knight but fool. </l>
        <l n="3"> I loathe my sword, that silly tool. </l>
        </lg>

thus avoiding any detailed and fussy analysis, and still showing that the
whole passage takes part in the problem.

Better solutions very welcome.

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Ingo Mittendorf
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge CB3 9DA
UK