Odd Haugen, Parallel Views: Multi-level Encoding of Medieval Nordic Primary Sources

This article discusses three principal types of transcription with reference to vernacular Medieval Nordic sources: a facsimile transcription with graphic details, a diplomatic transcription with few graphic details, but with all phonemic distinctions upheld, and a normalized transcription with regularized orthography. The article argues that all three levels of transcription can be accommodated in a single multi-level encoding, using the flexibility of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines. Special characters and abbreviation marks are encoded using entities and linking these to Unicode characters, partly in the Private Use Area. Words are encoded on one or more levels using specified elements and supplied with lexicographical and grammatical information by way of attributes. Display in various formats such as HTML and PDF is managed by stylesheets. Thus, a single XML file allows for several views of the text, suitable for different user groups, such as linguists, historians, and literary critics.

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