Notes: linking the note and the text [093]

Abstract

Notes (including footnotes, endnotes, and marginal notes) should be linked to their anchor point using a bi-directional link which explicitly identifies both the anchor point and the note.

Discussion

This entry deals with the identification and positioning of the anchor point for notes. There are four main components to this encoding: tagging the anchor point, tagging the anchor mark, tagging the noted phrase if one appears in the note, and creating the link between note and anchor point.

1. Tagging the anchor point

The “anchor point” is the element to which the note points. This may be an element with a function independent of the existence of the note (such as a <persName>, a <quote> or a <term>, or even a <div>) or it may be an element placed there for the sole purpose of anchoring the note (such as <anchor> or <seg>). Whatever element is used, it must have both an id= value (to which the <note> points with its target= attribute) and a corresp= value (which points to the id= of the <note> element). In this way the <note> and its anchor each point to each other.

We only treat a word or phrase as the anchor point if its extent is clear: by renditional distinction such as italics or quotation marks, by repetition of the word/phrase in the text of the note, or in some cases by its obviousness (for instance, a personal name which is clearly the subject of the note). If the quoted phrase in the note is briefer than the renditionally distinct phrase in the main text, we need to use judgment to determine whether or not the entire renditionally distinct phrase should be treated as the element to which the note points. There may be cases where the note abbreviates the phrase for convenience, but where the entire phrase is still the subject of the note; there may also be cases where the renditionally distinct phrase is renditionally distinct for an unrelated reason (for instance, because it is in a foreign language) and only part of it is really the subject of the note.

If there’s a distinct word/phrase and we can identify an appropriate element to use (<quote>, <term>, <socalled>, etc.), we use that element, and use its corresp= attribute to point to the <note> in the <hyperdiv>.

If there’s a distinct word/phrase but we can’t identify an appropriate element to use, we tag the word/phrase with <seg> and use its corresp= attribute to point to the <note> in the <hyperdiv>.

If there’s no distinct word/phrase, we tag the point where the note is anchored with <anchor> and use its corresp= attribute to point to the <note> in the <hyperdiv>.

For marginal notes: if there’s no indication of where the note is anchored (no anchor symbol, no distinct word), we place the <anchor> at the beginning of the line which is level with the top of the marginal note.

For footnotes or endnotes: if there’s no indication of where the note is anchored, but there is a line number mentioned in the note, we place the <anchor> at the beginning of the line indicated by the line number. If there is no line number either, we do not anchor the note at all.

For notes (foot or end) which have an erroneous anchor (for instance, the note says “line 7” and it’s actually line 8), we encode the text as it appears, and include a note in the <notesStmt> describing the error.

2. Tagging the anchor mark

The “anchor mark” is the symbol (such as an asterisk or dagger) which marks the place in the text to which the note refers. If there is an anchor mark in the text, the value of the anchored= attribute on the <note> element should be “yes”. This is the default value.

We always encode the anchor mark using the “pre” or “post” keywords on the rend= attribute of whatever element is being used to mark the anchor point. Thus if a noted word has an asterisk immediately following it, the anchor mark should be encoded as rend="post(*)" on the element used to tag the word. If the word itself is not distinct, or if it is not clear how great the extent of a noted phrase is, the anchor mark should be encoded as <anchor rend="pre(*)"> immediately following the word or phrase. For anchor marks consisting of superscripted numbers, the number is encoded using an entity reference (e.g. &sup-2;) since the normal treatment of superscription using the rend= attribute is impossible.

The encoder should use whatever textual clues are available to determine the extent of the noted word or phrase (including clues in the text of the note), but should not engage in extra research. When in doubt, the <anchor> element should be used at the point where the anchor mark occurs.

If the anchor mark is separated from the word it marks by a piece of punctuation (e.g. Homer,*), we ignore the relative positions of anchor mark and punctuation, and encode as if the anchor mark followed the word directly: <persName rend="post(*)">Homer</persName>,

3. Tagging the noted phrase as it appears in the note

The noted phrase is a recapitulation (often inexact) of the section of text to which the note applies. This happens most frequently in the case of quotations, where the content of the note may be a bibliographic reference, but it may also occur where the note explains or comments upon the noted phrase. Notes also may recapitulate the noted word or phrase in lieu of providing an anchor mark or line number to indicate what the note refers to.

We encode the noted phrase as it occurs in the text of the note using the <quote> element, regardless of whether the phrase corresponds exactly to its counterpart in the body of the text. Within the <quote> element, we encode the quotation just as we see it, as if it were a quotation appearing anywhere else inthe text. The <quote> should be enclosed within a <ref> element, which will also contain any references to the location of the noted text (e.g. a verse, line or page number).

We tag discrepancies between the noted phrase in the note and its counterpart in the text using <sic>, without corr=, on the text in the note. (That is, we treat the note version as a derived version and the version in the text as the authoritative version, regardless of which one is actually correct.) Our use of <sic> in this case is intended to indicate that the text is accurately transcribed; our omission of corr= indicates that we are agnostic about which version is correct.

We tag typographical errors occuring within the noted phrase in the note just as we would if they appeared anywhere else (that is, encode them with <sic> and corr=), even if they reproduce errors which occur in the main body of the text. However (as indicated above), we do not treat discrepancies between the noted version and the text version as typographical errors.

If the extent of the noted phrase does not match the position of the anchor mark, and if the content of the note suggests that the anchor mark is not simply misplaced, the note should be linked to an <anchor> element at the position of the anchor mark, rather than to the phrase in the text. If the content of the note suggests that the anchor mark is misplaced, the note should be linked to the phrase in the text and the anchor mark should be encoded as #PCDATA with <sic>.

4. Linking the note to the anchor

The note and anchor point are linked bi-directionally using:

--an id= attribute on both the <note> element and on the element which encloses the noted word or phrase, or the <anchor> element if that was used. The id= value for the <note> should be in the form “n001”, “n002”, etc., and the id= value for the <anchor> or anchoring element should be in the form “a001”, “a002”, etc. The numbering of the anchor should match the numbering of the note. No other forms are acceptable.

--a target= attribute on <note> which points to the id= of the element that serves as the anchor point. If the note points to more than one element, the target= attribute may contain more than one value; multiple values should be separated by a space: target=“a001 a002”.

--a corresp= attribute on the element that serves as the anchor point, which points to the id= of the corresponding <note> element.

No other links between the note and the text are required. We do not encode an explicit link from any <ref> or <quote> elements in the note to the main text.

Examples

Example 1. A note linked to a <persName>:
<p>It remained to the glorious <persName id="a001" corresp="n001" rend="post(*)">Cromwell</persName> to tame this tiger...</p>
<note id="n001" target="a001"><p>The famed <persName>Oliver Cromwell</persName>, Lord Protector...</p></note>

Example 2. A note linked to an anchor:
<p>Before she went in to dinner, she sat in her closet and wrote several letters,<anchor rend="pre(*)" id="a001" corresp="n001"> thanking those who had supported her in her hour of distress.</p>
<note id="n001" target="a001"><p>It is at this point, we may surmise, that the idea of the petition first came to her mind...</p></note>

Example 3. A note linked to a passage from the text which is unmarked except by the quoted phrase in the note:
<lg><l>The flowers in the field are gay</l>
<l>And <seg id="a001" corresp="n001">bloom as freely</seg> as they may.</l></lg>
<note id="n001" target="a001"><ref>Line 2, <quote rend="slant(italic)">bloom as freely</quote>:</ref> <p rend="break(no)">This charming passage echoes the words of the Derbyshire poet Peckworth...</p></note>

Example 4. A note linked to a passage from the text which is renditionally distinct and differs in extent from the quoted phrase in the note:
<p>How she endured those long days, how she <seg rend="slant(italic)" id="a001" corresp="n001">steeled her soul to sternness</seg>, is known only to herself...</p>
<note id="n001" target="a001"><ref><quote>steeled her soul</quote></ref> <p>It may be objected, that such an image is unbecoming a lady whose delicacy can scarcely be doubted...</p></note>

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