[MEI-L] Encoding elisions

Roland, Perry (pdr4h) pdr4h at eservices.virginia.edu
Sat Apr 27 00:44:09 CEST 2013

Hi Thomas,

The quick answer -- This isn't exactly what <gap> was intended for, but at the present time there's no other element that can be used instead.  Someone more familiar with TEI will have to confirm this, but I believe there's also no element in TEI that indicates "nothing here in the original", so TEIers use <gap> -- incorrectly the way I read the Guidelines.

The philosophical answer -- The source you're transcribing is complete; that is, there's no gap in it, per se, because nothing is "illegible, invisible, or inaudible".  It only has a gap when compared against another, more complete source.  Ideally, you should encode both sources, using <app>,  so that the comparison between them is explicit.  Alternatively, you could "fill in" the missing material from the full source, marking the editorially supplied stuff with <supplied> -- anything that isn't supplied is part of the original.  I suppose you could achieve the same end using <supplied> without content.  You could always say, "Oh, I meant to put something in <supplied>, I just never got around to it."  :-)  For mechanistic extraction of the original stuff -- the original material is everything minus the <supplied/> elements.

I'm not averse to changing the description of <gap> to match this particular use, especially if there's precedent for it in TEI practice.

Have a great weekend,


Perry Roland
Music Library
University of Virginia
P. O. Box 400175
Charlottesville, VA 22904
434-982-2702 (w)
pdr4h (at) virginia (dot) edu

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