Overlapping and fragmented elements [203]


Strategies for handling overlapping textual features, particularly quotations and poetry


The WWP frequently encounters instances of overlapping textual features, and we use the mechanisms provided by TEI to deal with them. This entry deals with overlapping <q>, <quote>, <l>, and <lg> elements.

It is important to note from the start that the WWP’s nesting of <q> and <quote> with <l> and <lg> is for practical purposes only and does not express any analytical perspective on the relationship of these things (for instance, on whether a speaker is quoting a poem or being quoted in a poem).

The TEI provides the part= attribute for <l> and <lg> for use in fragmenting and linking these elements to avoid overlap. The part= attribute may have the following values:

"I" for "initial"

"M" for "medial"

"F" for "final"

The WWP has also added the part= attribute to the <q> and <quote> elements to simplify their encoding in cases where no more complexity is needed. See example 1 below.

The TEI also provides for more complex cases the next= and prev= attributes on <l>, <q>, and <quote>. These require that each element fragment be given an id= to which the next= and prev= attributes can refer. The WWP uses this method for cases where part= is not adequate: for instance, in cases where a quotation is nested inside another quotation, making the identification of part sequences impossible. See example 3 below.


Example 1. Simple use of part= for <q>
“I never thought,” said he, "that I’d live to see the day."
<p><q part="I">I never thought</q>, said he, <q part="F">that I’d live to see the day</q></p>

Example 2. Simple use of part= for <l> (a single line of verse split between two <lg> elements)
<lg type="verse.para">
<l>Hence my obeisance, my devotion hence,</l>
<l part="I">And hence my transport.</l></lg>
<lg type="verse.para"><l part="F">Nor should this, perchance,</l>
<l>Pass unrecorded, that I still had loved</l>

Example 3. More complex encoding using part= for the outer quotation and next= and prev= for the inner quotation.

<q part="I">
<l>I’ll tell thee how it came about</l>
<l>She fell upon me and turned me out.</l>
<l>I cried <q id="q01" next="q02">But surely you’re mistaken,</q></l>
<l><q id="q02" prev="q01">To leave me thus poor and forsaken</q></l>
<l>But nothing did my words avail.</l>
<l>Jane paused for breath in great travail</l>
<l>But then resumed, no whit deterred,</l>
<q part="F">
<l>I thought perhaps she hadn’t heard.</l>

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