[tei-council] Guidelines confusion over damage/unclear?

Lou Burnard lou.burnard at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Thu May 1 13:01:36 EDT 2008

I'd say the language could certainly be clarified. I think the reasoning 
is that there might be more than one element within the area of damage. 
Suppose, for example, there is a smoke damaged part within which two 
stretches  can be read (more or less) and a third which can't: you'd 
want to mark that

<damaged agent="smoke">
   <unclear>the proof of this is</unclear>
   <gap extent="4" units="words"/>

I'd sort of assume that the @agent information here was inherited in 
this case, but we should probably formalise this (i.e. say so in the 
prose, as you suggest)

other views?

David Sewell wrote:
> In coming up with an example of <unclear> for the ref page, I noticed
> that the Guidelines and the reference page for <unclear> offer somewhat
> contradictory advice.
> In 11.5.1, "Damage, Illegibility, and Supplied Text"
>   http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/PH.html#PHDA
> where a passage from the Elder Edda is used as an example, this advice
> is given about using <unclear> within <damage>:
>   If it is desired to supply more information about the kind of damage, it
>   is also possible to nest an <unclear> element within the <damage>
>   element:
>      um aldr d<damage agent="rubbing">
>       <unclear>aga</unclear>
>      </damage> yndisniota
> However, <unclear> itself can take @agent, and in the reference section
>    http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/ref-unclear.html
> @agent is indicated for "Where the difficulty in transcription arises
> from damage, categorizes the cause of the damage, if it can be
> identified", with sample values of "rubbing", "mildew", and "smoke".
> Which suggests that this tagging of the Guidelines example would do
> just as well:
>    um aldr d<unclear reason="damage" agent="rubbing">aga</unclear>
>    yndisniota
> with no <damage> tag needed.
> Is this just a case of "there's more than one way to do it", or should
> the Guidelines language at 11.5.1 be revised?
> David

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