Parallel Writing in East Asian Languages and Its Representation in Metadata in Light of the DCMI Abstract Model

Akira Miyazawa


This paper discusses the parallel writing tradition in East Asian languages and its representation in metadata. Parallel writing systems in these languages do not use the same scripts, but they all share a common scheme, and they have a well-established tradition in bibliographic data. Data representation of these parallel writing systems in the MARC bibliographic format is done in various ways. Even in the metadata world, the representation of parallel writing shows some inconsistencies. It is therefore desirable to establish a new common way of representation. For this purpose, this paper discusses the class of the represented values in terms of the DCMI Abstract Model (DCAM). In the case of properties such as “Title,” it is possible to see the associated value as a “literal,” but for parallel writing it is more appropriate to see such a value as “a sequence of words”. Accordingly parallel writing can be represented as multiple value strings associated with a value of the class “sequence of words”. Even so, one remaining problem is that the languages tags used in the value string language cannot also specify writing systems. Enumeration of the type of writing systems in various languages and registration to RFC 4646 would be required in order to express this information in DCAM value string languages.

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