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Common standards for representation and encoding of annotations of texts

At face value, the most trivial aspect of annotation guidelines is in recommendation of `visible' character-coded means to represent this or that linguistic phenomenon. Any device for encoding a given linguistic phenomenon is (in the last resort) arbitrary, and, so long as it is distinctive, can be automatically converted into a different device. We propose that the criteria of compactness, readability, and processability be given priority, although different degrees of priority may be assigned to such criteria for different projects. On the other hand, we suggest that local specifications should be translatable into a common EAGLES standard automatically, by a regular mapping via an Intermediate Tagset.