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I will leave for others to decide what exactly constitutes an
abbreviation, but
for the general question ("what do I put in <abbr> when I can't read
it?"),
I should think that the usual answers apply: use <gap/> and <unclear>
as needed. Assuming that it really is an abbreviation (say, "hdw" for
"hardware", but the last two letters are an illegible stroke or
squiggle), 
then there is nothing wrong with encoding as

<choice>
<abbr>h<gap extent="2 characters" reason="illegible"></abbr>
<expan>hardware</expan>
</choice>

or

<choice>
<abbr>h<gap extent="2 characters" reason="illegible"></abbr>
<reg>hdw</reg>
<expan>hardware</expan>
</choice>

or

<choice>
<abbr><unclear>hdw</unclear></abbr>
<expan>hardware</expan>
</choice>

If a true abbreviation is *not* involved (say, my signature, in which
all the letters are notionally present but only three or four are
actually
discernible), then there might be better choices, such as

<choice>
<orig>S<gap/>ff<gap/>r</orig>
<reg>Schaffner</reg>
</choice>

or simply:

<unclear>Schaffner</unclear>

We rarely record anomalies at this level of granularity, so
others please correct me.

pfs


On Thu, Aug 13, 2015, at 05:18, Christian Thomas wrote:
> 
> ...my apologies, I forgot to share the link to the example picture. It's 
> here:
> http://odo.dwds.de/~thomas/Riess-abbr-expan_example.jpg
> 
> Dear TEI-L community,
> 
> I wonder if anyone ever used @type= "suspension | contraction" within 
> <abbr>. Cf. 
> http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/ref-abbr.html :
> 
> > suspension
> >     the abbreviation provides the first letter(s) of the word or
> >     phrase, omitting the remainder.
> > contraction
> >     the abbreviation omits some letter(s) in the middle. 
> 
> I have a 19th-cent. document, lecture notes probably taken for personal 
> use by the student in 1827/28, bristling with non-standardized 
> abbreviations. By "non-standardized" I mean there are no conventional 
> abbreviation signs indicating omissions by the writer. It is just a 
> typically individual (if that is not a contradiction in itself...) 
> shorthand.
> 
> The challenge is that I have to put something into <abbr> that can then 
> be <expan>ded, but the abbreviated letters are slurred to such an extent 
> that there often are hardly any recognizable letters to put into <abbr>.
> 
> For an example have a look at these two words: 
> http://odo.dwds.de/~thomas/Riess-abbr-expan_example.jpg
> 
> It is clear that the expanded word in the first line is supposed to be 
> "Geschichte", the second is "vortrefflich" or rather "vortreffliches". 
> But what do I put between <abbr> and </abbr>? For "Geschichte", several 
> letters are not recognizable, but *something* is there between the 
> beginning "G" and the follow "ſch", also between that "ſch" and the "ht" 
> at the end of the word -- the last letter, "e" is barely recognizable. 
> Same for the second word, where also several letters are not 
> recognizable, but there is *not nothing*, so imho it would be wrong to 
> transcribe it as
> 
> <choice>*<abbr>Gſcht</abbr>*<expan resp="#CT">Geſchichte</expan></choice>
> <choice>*<abbr>vrtrefflh</abbr>*<expan
> resp="#CT">vortreffliches</expan></choice>
> 
> I am not sure from what is given here 
> http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/ref-abbr.html that 
> using type="suspension" or type="contraction" with would solve that 
> problem. Would you think?
> 
> <choice><abbr*type="contraction"*>Gſcht</abbr><expan
> resp="#CT">Geſchichte</expan></choice>
> <choice><abbr*type="contraction"*>vrtrefflh</abbr><expan
> resp="#CT">vortrefflich</expan></choice>
> 
> 
> I would be grateful for examples from other projects. I am sure this 
> phenomenon is to be found in several other mss./letters projects as well.
> 
> Thanks in advance, best wishes
> Christian
> 
> -- 
> Christian Thomas
> Hidden Kosmos: Reconstructing A. v. Humboldt’s »Kosmos-Lectures«
> http://www.culture.hu-berlin.de/hidden-kosmos
> 
> Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
> Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
> Institut für Kulturwissenschaft
> Mohrenstraße 40, 10117 Berlin
> Raum: 414, Tel. +49 (0)30 2093 66 298
> E-Mail:[log in to unmask]
> --
> 
-- 
Paul Schaffner  Digital Library Production Service
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