Text Encoding Initiative

12. Lists

The element <list> is used to mark any kind of list. A list is a sequence of text items, which may be ordered, unordered, or a glossary list. Each item may be preceded by an item label (in a glossary list, this label is the term being defined):

contains any sequence of items organized as a list. Attributes include:

describes the form of the list. Suggested values include: ordered, bulleted (for lists with numbered or lettered items, and lists with bullet-marked items, respectively), gloss (for lists consisting of a set of technical terms, each marked with a <label> element and accompanied by a gloss or definition marked as an <item>), and simple (for lists with items not marked with number or bullets.

contains one component of a list.
contains the label associated with an item in a list; in glossaries, marks the term being defined.

Individual list items are tagged with <item>. The first <item> may optionally be preceded by a <head>, which gives a heading for the list. The numbering of a list may be omitted (if reconstructible), indicated using the n attribute on each item, or (rarely) tagged as content using the <label> element. The following are all thus equivalent:

<head>A short list</head>
<item>First item in list.</item>
<item>Second item in list.</item>
<item>Third item in list.</item>

<head>A short list</head>
<item n="1">First item in list.</item>
<item n="2">Second item in list.</item>
<item n="3">Third item in list.</item>

<head>A short list</head>
<label>1</label><item>First item in list.</item>
<label>2</label><item>Second item in list.</item>
<label>3</label><item>Third item in list.</item>
The styles should not be mixed in the same list.

A simple two-column table may be treated as a glossary list, tagged <list type="gloss">. Here, each item comprises a term and a gloss, marked with <label> and <item> respectively. These correspond to the elements <term> and <gloss>, which can occur anywhere in prose text.

<list type="gloss">
<label lang="enm">nu</label>        <item>now</item>
<label lang="enm">lhude</label>     <item>loudly</item>
<label lang="enm">bloweth</label>   <item>blooms</item>
<label lang="enm">med</label>       <item>meadow</item>
<label lang="enm">wude</label>      <item>wood</item>
<label lang="enm">awe</label>       <item>ewe</item>
<label lang="enm">lhouth</label>    <item>lows</item>
<label lang="enm">sterteth</label>  <item>bounds, frisks</item>
<label lang="enm">verteth</label>   <item lang="lat">pedit</item>
<label lang="enm">murie</label>     <item>merrily</item>
<label lang="enm">swik</label>      <item>cease</item>
<label lang="enm">naver</label>     <item>never</item>

Where the internal structure of a list item is more complex, it may be preferable to regard the list as a table, for which special-purpose tagging is defined below (14. Tables).

Lists of whatever kind can, of course, nest within list items to any depth required. Here, for example, a glossary list contains two items, each of which is itself a simple list:

<list type="gloss"><label>EVIL</label>
<item><list type="simple">
   <item>I am cast upon a horrible desolate island, void
          of all hope of recovery.</item>
   <item>I am singled out and separated as it were from
         all the world to be miserable.</item>
   <item>I am divided from mankind &mdash; a solitaire; one
           banished from human society.</item>
     </list> <!-- end of first nested list --></item>
<item><list type="simple">
     <item>But I am alive; and not drowned, as all my
              ship's company were.</item>
     <item>But I am singled out, too, from all the ship's
             crew, to be spared from death...</item>
     <item>But I am not starved, and perishing on a barren place,
            affording no sustenances....</item>
     </list><!-- end of second nested list --></item>
</list><!-- end of glossary list -->

A list need not necessarily be displayed in list format. For example,

On those remote pages it is written that animals are
divided into <list rend="run-on"><item n="a">those that belong to the
Emperor,<item n="b"> embalmed ones, <item n="c"> those
that are trained, <item n="d"> suckling pigs, <item n="e">
mermaids, <item n="f"> fabulous ones, <item n="g"> stray
dogs, <item n="h"> those that are included in this
classification, <item n="i"> those that tremble as if they
were mad, <item n="j"> innumerable ones, <item n="k"> those
drawn with a very fine camel's-hair brush, <item n="l">
others, <item n="m"> those that have just broken a flower
vase, <item n="n"> those that resemble flies from a

Lists of bibliographic items should be tagged using the <listBibl> element, described in the next section.

Up: Contents Previous: 11. Names, Dates, Numbers and Abbreviations Next: 13. Bibliographic Citations

Date: (revised October 2004) Author: Lou Burnard (revised SPQR).
Copyright TEI 1995