Encoding verse texts

David Chisholm, David Robey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article identifies problems and proposes solutions for encoding verse texts in SGML. It is organized around a series of distinctions and oppositions which the TEI Work Group on Verse regard as significant. These include examination of the formal properties which distinguish verse from prose, followed by discussions of (1) text-searching vs analysis, (2) markup vs algorithms, (3) markup vs transcription, (4) uniformity vs choice, (5) specificity vs generality, (6) metrical convention vs linguistic realization, (7) structural vs non-structural divisions and (8) fidelity vs interpretation. Using German and English verse forms as illustrations, the advantages and disadvantages of pre-line tagging, in-line tagging and feature structure analysis are discussed. We suggest that metrical and rhyme conventions always be tagged at the highest possible level of text divisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and the Humanities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • SGML
  • TEI
  • poetry
  • tagging
  • text encoding
  • verse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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