For a research project on the construction of age in British and Dutch children’s literature my colleagues and I are looking for the best way to annotate fictional texts with information about speakers and subjects. We are all new to coding with TEI and have the feeling we are making things more difficult than they can be.
These are the issues that we are currently struggling with:
1) we want to tag information about characters who use direct speech: we want to add their age and the certainty with which the age can be assigned. We can identify the speaker with the who-attribute, but we still need to find an easy way to add the speaker’s age, which may vary within one book and thus cannot be included in the external description of the speaker.
2) if passages give information about characters, we want to identify those characters, their age and the certainty with which the age is assigned. Is there an element to annotate the subject of a passage to which we can add a character’s name and age?
3) if the passage, either direct or indirect, gives a statement about a specific age or age group, we want to annotate this information as well (similar to the previous question but here the subject is a life stage instead of a character who inadvertently has an age). Any suggestions here?
Are there tags and respective attributes available that we can use to annotate all of the above information? We have looked for them, but may have missed them. Or should we look into creating our own tags and attributes in a customized schema/ODD? If so, is there a way we can get help with this? We would like to have this done as quickly and neatly as possible and we feel we lack the experience to do so. Any advice or help you can give us would be much appreciated.
Vanessa Joosen and her research team
University of Antwerp