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Proper names type attributes and more? #56

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DavidHaslam opened this Issue Nov 29, 2017 · 1 comment

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DavidHaslam commented Nov 29, 2017

Proposed extensions to the \pn_...\pn* markers

Now that USFM 3.0 supports word level attributes, it would seem a sensible time to consider how to extend the semantic properties of the proper name markers.

cf. The releases notes mention that \png_...\png* has been deprecated. This was for geographic proper names and instigated originally (it seems) largely in the context of Chinese Bible translations.

Proposed attributes for \pn markers

  • type – with "person", "geographic", etc, as defined values
  • subType – with many possibilities to consider (q.v.) as defined values
  • sex – to distinguish persons between "male" and "female"

Possible type values

The following are various categories of names that I have identified in the Biblical text.

astronomic
calendric
divinity (other than YHWH)
ethnic
geographic
hypothetic
language
letter
metaphoric
music
nonhuman
object
person
philosophic
politic
pronouncement
religious

Possible subType values

Here are some of those that emerged from my analysis:

Greek
Levite
adjective
angel
ascent
brook
captain
chamberlain
city
commination
constellation
country
covenant
desert
district
duke
elder
false god
false goddess
father
field
forum
garden
governor
hill
inhabitant
island
islands
king
land
martyr
master
month
mountain
musical
nation
nickname
noble
people-group
people-group-member
pool
port
priest
prince
province
region
river
rock
sea
servant
ship
springs or slope
star
steward
store house
surname
threshing floor
title
town
tribe
valley
village
well

Neither list is exhaustive; my analysis is still incomplete. But you get the idea!

Further possibilities...

We might also consider special markup for names to distinguish plurals and possessives.

Notes

There are several names in the Bible that are either a person or a place depending upon the context.

The first such example is Adam. We all know about Genesis 2, but there is a city called Adam mentioned in Joshua 3:16.

Using type attributes would be of great benefit for study Bibles, n'est-ce pas?

There are also words in the Bible that are either a common noun or a proper name depending on the context. Most of us being accustomed to a bicameral writing system, this rarely causes us any reading problems.

Examples: here are the two shortest, others will occur to you.

  • On and on
  • No and no

Using the \pn marker for those that are proper names will help a lot, especially for writing systems that are not bicameral.

Also to observe that there are several places in the Bible with multiword names. A few examples will suffice:

the Sheep Gate
the Beautiful gate
Solomon's porch
the city of David
the valley gate
the dung gate
Appii forum
the three taverns

Several of these illustrate the fact that not all names in the Bible are capitalised in English.
Nonetheless, these are all candidates for the use of the \pn markers.

It's also clear that there are many instances of names within names in the Bible.

Abishag the Shunammite
Barzillai the Gileadite
Darius the Mede
Doeg the Edomite
...

It's suggested that these be marked with nested name elements.

<name ...>Abishag the <name ...>Shunammite</name></name>

This makes it clear that the text is referring to a single person or place.

Such bipolar names can have several forms, with a different word (or words) (or nothing) in between.
Here's just one example for each

Bethlehem of Judaea
Cæsarea Philippi
Cana in Galilee
Galilee of the Gentiles

The same principle applies.

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DavidHaslam Nov 29, 2017

@klassenjm – please review the proposal and at least at an initial comment. Thanks.

DavidHaslam commented Nov 29, 2017

@klassenjm – please review the proposal and at least at an initial comment. Thanks.

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