20.532 questions of tagging

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 06:52:08 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 532.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 06:48:22 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: questions of tagging

[from DrWender_at_AOL.COM]

lou.burnard_at_computing-services.oxford.ac.uk wrote:

> > Underlining the strangeness of such remark I cite an example for a
> > date structure element:
> >
> > _dateStruct value='26-10-1775'_ _day value='26'_26_/day_ _month
> > value='10'_October_/month_ _year value='1775'_1775_/year_ _/dateStruct_
> >
> > For me such examples are showing how TEI conformant markup allows
> > semantic document processing without looking inside the nodes. Isn't it?
> >
> I am afraid I don't understand the point you are making here. But in any
> case, the dateStruct element and its components have now been removed!

There are a lot of points to discuss under a broader perspective than
the desire for clarity in the TEI Guidelines. Therefore I ould like -
cross-posting at Humanist - play the ball in the wider field of
humanities computing.

One of those questions is the older one if tagging is seen from a
nominalist or from a realist point of view. The latter would,
encountering _formula_ ..... _/formula_, take this as statement that
the part of the text enclosed by the tags *is* a formula in the
standard sense that the (sequence of) sign(s) is build following
special conventions in a certain context, more formal as usual in
natural languages. This statement can be verified by machine, if the
system of rules apllied is invented for computer processing: _formula
notation="TeX"_ ..... _/formula_ or verified by brain otherwise. This
is probably better demonstrated with an example of the "date"
element: _date_26. Oktober im Jahre des HErrn 1775_/date_

 From a nominalist point of view I would only say: If you will know
how users of german language are expressing dates, sample the
sequences tagged as 'date' in (div's of) texts with the specific
language attribute. In this view a linguist can cry "What a wonderful
world today! I can sample date data in the time of a finger snip :-)"

We can go further in the discussion of the standard markup appoach
following a reading suggestion at TEI-L

patrick_at_DURUSAU.NET wrote:

> You can view the thesis that morphed into the book at:
> http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/28854
> The authors conclude that trees (even augmented trees) are inappropriate
> for representation of discourse analysis.
combinig with a question to discuss at the next TEI member's meeting

daniel.odonnell_at_uleth.ca wrote:
> Are markup schemas theories of the structure of a text in the way
> that linguistic theories are theories of language

and ask what range of adequacy can be reached by theories underlying markup
approaches in text processing?

BTW, it's no question that tagging makes easier text handling. But Daniel's
questions are showing that TEI is intended to be taken for more. Isn't it?

Herbert Wender

Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London |
Received on Mon Mar 26 2007 - 01:04:19 EST

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