The creation of epigraphic texts using XML is greatly facilitated by the traditional, scholarly techniques of editing epigraphic texts. Epigraphers are already accustomed to careful examination, analysis and description of letters, words, phrases and other aspects of texts. Communicating these aspects accurately and unambiguously is the central aim of scholarly epigraphic publication, and epigraphers have developed a highly technical and effective typographic vocabulary for achieving it (see further: " Introduction for Epigraphers"). Our goal in developing the guidelines in this section has been to render structurally distinct the semantic richness and rigor underlying the typographic vocabulary to permit computer software to distinguish all its elements reliably. This arrangement permits the use of xml-aware software to increase scholarly productivity and reduce the manual tasks that slow scholarly inquiry.
The use of sigla in traditional typographic editions that either bind to individual characters or that encompass a group of characters pair-wise provides a ready-made road map to the enumeration and application of XML tags. In formulating these recommendations, we have endeavored to provide unique combinations of elements and attributes for each and every distinction epigraphers attempt to draw with sigla in print editions. These element-attribute combinations are described in the following sections, arranged by broad classes of editorial activity.
Note that this section focuses exclusively on the transcription and editing of the inscribed text, i.e., the specific activities in which an epigraphist engages to constitute a text and associated apparatus. Other aspects of epigraphic editions, reports and corpora are presented elsewhere in these Guidelines (please see the Table of Contents or Organization of the Guidelines: where to go from here).
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