The compatibility between TEI conventions and NERC proposals has been assessed within the framework of the NERC project. Sinclair (1993) mentions ``reasonable compatibility'' between both proposals and Teubert (1993) reports that French's conventions are ``on the whole compatible'' with TEI guidelines, while stressing the important fact that NERC's system is more easily interpreted by readers. However, the major effort in comparing both systems has been made in a detailed report written by Payne (1992) to which the reader is referred for a complete assessment of the compatibility between both systems. A summary of Payne's evaluation is presented in Johansson (1995a)
Payne (1992) mentions several general shortcomings of the TEI Guidelines:
This leads to difficulties in deciding what should and what should not be encoded. NERC proposes different levels that can be used according to the needs of the transcriber, in order to avoid the costs involved in encoding more information than is necessary for a given purpose.
According to Payne (1992) this is due to the fact that the TEI Guidelines have attempted to foresee what will be required in any given circumstance, and suggested an appropriate specialized tag, attribute or value.
However, after careful analysis Payne (1992:60) concludes that:
The TEI proposals are broadly compatible with current practice in the user community, as represented by the J.P. French conventions. Furthermore, in the majority of cases it will be a straightforward matter to link the machine-friendly TEI codes to more user-friendly encoding systems such as the J.P. French conventions by means of a simple conversion program.
The idea of having an automatic link between a representation that facilitates the work of the transcriber and increases readability and TEI conventions is also favoured in Sinclair's preface to Payne (1992). However, it is clear from NERC documents that TEI conventions should be followed wherever possible and that recommendations should be made for areas in which TEI Guidelines are not fully adequate.
The analysis of the TEI Guidelines performed by Payne follows the same structure of the TEI document and the results of his work will be briefly summarized here in the same order.