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Can I conclude that little (if any) importance is attached to the  
meaning given the <group> element in the Guidelines? that <group> can  
be used also for an authorial sequence of chapters?

Best,

Jens

On Jun 8, 2009, at 2:30PM, Jens Østergaard Petersen wrote:

> Thanks for your answer, James!
>
> "<group> contains the body of a composite text, grouping together a  
> sequence of distinct texts (or groups of such texts) which are  
> regarded as a unit for some purpose, for example the collected works  
> of an author, a sequence of prose essays, etc."
>
> the Guidelines say, but there seems to me to be something temporary  
> about grouping texts in this way - "for some purpose" indicates  
> this, I should think. The dictionary in question is certainly meant  
> as a whole (though it was not quite finished when the author died),  
> so the chapters can hardly be called "distinct" texts, not is the  
> dictionary "composite" in the sense that I think is implied here.
>
> Since the dictionary orders its material according to the Buddhist  
> texts it glosses (and since there are 465 of these), the chapter- 
> wise TOCs come in very handy. There is no general front matter to  
> the dictionary as a whole, so there is no general TOC: each chapter  
> has its own front matter, with a more or less similar title- 
> (subtitle)-author-TOC structure. This is of course connected to the  
> format used at the time (paper scrolls could not hold more than one  
> chapter). A similar case would be encoding, say, a standard multi- 
> volume dictionary, where you might want to note that volume 1  
> covered "a to c" and volume 2 "c to e" and so on (though the  
> practical use of this would be very little, I admit).
>
> The colophons are no big thing - they repeats the chapter  
> information and state who printed the chapter and when.
>
> So basically I feel that using group in this case does not agree  
> very well with the definition - and I wonder why no need has been  
> seen for chapter-wise front and back matters when dealing with texts  
> in the Western tradition.
>
> In the early Chinese tradition (mainly the time when bamboo and wood  
> was used to write on), individual chapters often "circulated on  
> their own" and many of the "books" that we have now are composites -  
> the efforts of later editors to collect the writings associated with  
> a certain person into a book. <group> might fit very nicely in such  
> cases. In the 7th century dictionary we are not talking about  
> scattered book-like chapters that were collected, in a temporary  
> manner, but about integral works, which, mainly because of the  
> material used to write on still had its length limitations,  
> circulated as chapters and therefore had front and back matter  
> attached to chapters and not the work the chapters made up.
>
> Jens
>
> On Jun 8, 2009, at 1:46PM, James Cummings wrote:
>
>> Jens Østergaard Petersen wrote:
>>> Hello!
>>> I am new to this list (and relatively new to TEI) - I am afraid my  
>>> questions might belong in a "Newbie" list.
>>
>> They certainly belong here!
>>
>>> The dictionary has a number of chapters, but each of these have  
>>> front and back matter - TOCs and colophons and so on. It does not  
>>> appear correct to regard the  dictionary as a text group, so is  
>>> there another way of handling such a situation? It looks to me as  
>>> if it might occur often, in Western contexts as well.
>>
>> I'm interested in why you think it isn't correct to regard the  
>> dictionary as a text group?  If the individual chapters have front  
>> and back matter, then they seem like individual <text>s to me.
>>
>> The other possibility of <teiCorpus> seems wrong to me since you  
>> are not trying to store a separate <teiHeader> for each of these  
>> chapters, only additional front/back matter.
>>
>> For what it is worth, I would have used something like:
>>
>> ====
>> <text>
>> <front>
>>   <!-- front matter for entire dictionary--></front>
>> <group>
>>   <text>
>>       <front><!-- front matter for first chapter --></front>
>>       <body><!-- first chapter's entries --></body>
>>       <back><!-- back matter for first chapter --></back>
>>   </text>
>>   <text>
>>       <!-- second chapter -->
>>   </text>
>> </group>
>> <back><!-- back matter for entire dictionary--></back>
>> </text>
>> ====
>>
>> -James
>> -- 
>> Dr James Cummings, Research Technologies Service, University of  
>> Oxford
>> James dot Cummings at oucs dot ox dot ac dot uk
>