In an article of this size, it is difficult to summarize intelligibly all aspects of the TEI scheme which might be of relevance to the users of language corpora. I have therefore focussed on a few key issues, in particular the mechanisms provided by the TEI for the establishment of a uniform structural encoding, and hence a uniform reference system for large corpora; on the features it offers for the encoding of editorial decisions, and a variety of linguistic annotation; and on some particular features of the way the TEI Header can be used in corpus work. I have particularly emphasized those aspects of the TEI scheme relating to validation and documentation, since it is perhaps in these areas that the TEI has most to offer to the world of language engineering. There are already many ways of encoding corpora, and there will doubtless continue to be many more: the strength of the TEI lies in its deliberate effort to promote the interchange of fully self-documenting corpora by providing explicit declarative mechanisms to record the procedures, codes, and definitions underlying an encoding. Such mechanisms cannot be mandated, but at least the TEI provides a framework within which they can be defined.
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