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Humanist Archives: March 3, 2019, 7:58 a.m. Humanist 32.502 - a text editor for "entexutualizing" oral discourse?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 502.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-03-02 15:45:46+00:00
        From: Catharine Mason 
        Subject: Creating visual representation of stylized oral discouse

Dear Willard and all Members of the Humanist Discussion Group,

I am seeking any and all advice in the creation of a text editor for
"entexutualizing" oral discourse. I am especially interested in questions
of formatting and the markup of stylistic features of textual form and
poetic functions and the like, most of which would be integrated in

Working with a group of scholars in various cross disciplines such as
sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics, I have studied a wide
body of encoded and annotated transcriptions by specialists in fields such
as ethnopoetics, discourse analysis, and folklore and oral tradition more
broadly. My purpose has been to identify standards in the study and visual
representation of vocal and verbal arts, and to systematize inquires as
well as variables in formatting choices. Much of what we do focuses on
relationships between text segments and also social contextual indexing of
meanings, so annotations ("metadata") are a central part of what we are

Many of these questions arose in the late 1950s, and were formulated and
debated throughout the 1990s. But despite the rise in interest in
indigenous languages, very little funding is made available to anything
other than documenting lexical, grammatical and morpho-syntactic data. The
focus of my study is on the stylistics of social practices of language. I
have been doing this for 10 years via non-profits founded in France and in
the US (some info may be found on vovarts.org).

We had always assumed that we would program our text editor using TEI, but
I am afraid that this might greatly limit the number of people that could
potentially provide very valuable data and metadata, namely insights into
the deeper cultural meanings of spoken word performance.

I am next to ignorant in questions about metalanguages and templates and
would be deeply grateful to any guidance that specialists might provide. We
are also looking to expand our team and clearly need someone either in TEI
if we take that leap, or another solution that might allow our potentially
very large user base to participate in the collection process. For the
moment, we are operating with zero funding, but we are also exploring the
possibility of a startup as a parallel for-profit venture to finance the
archive. If our startup succeeds, the project could expand into something
quite beyond our original purpose and we will want to invest sustainable
human-centered technology, of course.

Thanks for any and all consideration!
Catharine Mason, PhD
Research Professor English and Linguistic Ethnography
Université de Caen Normandie
UFR LVE (Modern Languages Department)
14032 CAEN Cedex

Laboratoire CRISCO

Association VOVA France
VOVA, Inc.

Board Member,
Pays des Miroirs Productions

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