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.02 Solutions

Our service will provide assistance in three ways:

Text markup and Uniform Resource Identifier

First, by applying TEI-xml markup we are able to identify and categorize textual features. Persons names, cann be marked as <persName>玄奘</persName>. As there are two monks called “Xuanzang”, a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) must be added (<persName key="A000294">玄奘</persName> or <persName key="A009306">玄奘</persName>). The information of these two Xuanzangs is stored in a database.

Use of authority databases

Some terms such as official titles, animals, plants, appliances, etc., are treated with hyperlinks. For example, plants are linked to "Compendium of Materia Medica" or Wikipedia instead of being stored in the database. The establishment of the database is for authority control, that is, the management of identification codes and the storage of related data, such as geographic coordinates.

Currently, this service provides East Asian calendar conversion, place names, person names, and text title authority databases.

Text comparison assistance

Hu Shih once advocated "do not use allusions" in his A Preliminary Discussion of Literature Reform, which shows that allusions are very common in classical Chinese. Take the "Preface to Zizhi Tongjian" as an example: "Thus the superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby" which comes from the imagery of the I Ching‧Ta Ch'u. Since allusions depend on the author's purpose, they are not necessarily consistent with the original canon, but most of them do not escape the meaning, proof, counter-evidence, imitation and other purposes, which are very helpful for understanding the meaning of the author.

An example is the "Chuan fabao ji" in the Dunhuang manuscripts. Manuscripts P2634 and P3664 in the Pelliot Collection have the meaning of the word "光濡" in the sentence. Because these two manuscripts are the only existing copies, "Chuan fabao ji" is not included in other existing documents, so there is no way to collate them. However the electronic Siku Quanshu contains a related text.


It turns out that "光濡" is an error of "先儒". The two speculations are the same series of manuscripts. P2634 should be earlier because there is also the word "拭". Such a function, in addition to assisting in solving the problem of using allusions, can also greatly improve the quality of collation.

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