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From: Elizabeth Churchett <>
Subject: [TMG] FYI: Witness variables (v5.09)
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 20:03:06 -0500


Hello all,

In tackling my recent Sentence Structure issues, I came across an e-mail
from James P. Colgate, a former subscriber to this list, sent 6 March
2003. His description of how witness variables are used when the
witness himself is the subject of the report are quite clear, and I
thought perhaps some of those who were not on this list at the time
might appreciate reading his post. (I have taken the libery of removing
some editorial content and just included the information re witness
variables.)

One thing to keep in mind is that the witness variables (like [W], [WO],
[R:rolename], etc) will act one way when used in the sentence structure of
the Principal's sentence, BUT the same variables will act *differently* when
the are used in the sentence structure which is used when the witness is the
subject of the narrative.

I will not attempt here to summarize here how these witness variable output
when used in the principal's sentence. But I just ran some tests to see how
they work in the type of sentence you are now working on -- i.e. where the
*witness* is the *subject* of his own narrative.

[W] returns only the one witness who is the subject, but not the other
witnesses

[WO] returns the names of all the witnesses EXCEPT the one who is the
subject of this narrative (the Principal does not show up here, but anyone
ascribed to other rolenames, and indeed anyone assigned simply the [W]
variable, will show up)

[R:rolename] returns just the one witness who is the subject of the sentence

[RG:rolename] returns the ENTIRE LIST of persons to that rolename and
inserts the "and" before the last in the list. The list is in a prescribed,
immutable order, so in the narrative of John, it may return: Mary, John, and
Bob. Also, this variable returns ONLY the given names.

[RF:rolename] works the same as [RG:rolename], but with first names

[RA:rolename] returns the ENTIRE list of all the ages of persons to whom
that rolename is ascribed.

So, Betty, the big problem is there is no easy way to get a list of all the
[R:Neighbors], if you want full names.

Here are some not-so-easy solutions to your quandary:

1) [not pertinent to witness variables, so I deleted it--E.C.]

2) Set up many, many neighbor roles. This is most complex initially to set
up when creating your default tag sentences. But once set up it is fairly
easy to use over and over again. Use [R:Neighbor] when there is only one.
If there are more than one, always use [R:Neighbor1] and [R:NeighborLast].
If you have 3 or more, then also use [R:Neighbor2], [R:Neighbor3], etc. as
needed:

[R:Neighbor]:
[R+:Neighbor] was listed in [R:HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD]'s house on the 1920 census
<[L]>.

[R:Neighbor1]
[R+:Neighbor1]<, [R+:Neighbor2]><, [R+:Neighbor3]><, [R+:Neighbor4]><,
[R+:Neighbor5]> and [R+:NeighborLast] were listed in [R:HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD]'s
house on the 1920 census <[L]>.

[R:Neighbor2]
[R+:Neighbor2]<, [R+:Neighbor1]><, [R+:Neighbor3]><, [R+:Neighbor4]><,
[R+:Neighbor5]> and [R+:NeighborLast] were listed in [R:HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD]'s
house on the 1920 census <[L]>.

etc. for neighbors 3, 4, and 5

[R:NeighborLast]:
[R+:NeighborLast]<, [R+:Neighbor2]><, [R+:Neighbor3]><, [R+:Neighbor4]><,
[R+:Neighbor5]> and [R+:Neighbor1] were listed in [R:HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD]'s
house on the 1920 census <[L]>.

3) And there is an easy work-around using [W] and [WO] -- but this
work-around would ONLY work if "neighbors" were the ONLY types of witnesses
attached to this tag (so this workaround will not work for a census tag).
The idea, even though it won;t work for you, is that you would have
something like:

[R+:Neighbor]<, along with [WO],> was listed in [R:HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD]'s
house on the 1920 census <[L]>.




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