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What do text mavens and the TEI community call a chronological or
thematic break in a textual work -- and what semantically-oriented
TEI markup is used to indicate this?

A chronological/thematic break is defined in the following document:

   http://style.cleverchimp.com/corestyle/modulor/3/shame-and-war-revisited.html

(They define three levels: small, medium and large).

An example, out of millions really, is given at the end of the
introductory section of "My Antonia":

   http://www.openreader.org/myantonia/basic-design-nopagenum/myantonia.html#p0008

Here, some space is added between two paragraphs to denote a chronological
break or shift.

Oftentimes publishers will add some graphic, such as the ubiquitous
three bullets, to indicate a chronological or thematic break of some
sort.

Thanks.

Jon Noring