TAN-c-core elements and attributes summarized

The element claim contains one or more claims.

Formal Definition

   (~inclusion | 
      (~ed-stamp?, 
         
            (@cert | (@cert, @cert2))?, @claimant?, @adverb?, @verb?, @where?, (
         (@subject | <subject>+)? & 
         (@object | 
            (<object> | <claim>+)+)? & <locus>+? & <when>* & 
         (@claim-basis | <claim-basis>+)?)))

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~TAN-c-item, ~complex-object

[Caution]Caution

Claims involving verbs whose object is constrained must use <object>, not @object.

[Caution]Caution

Verbs that have object constraints must not be combined with other verbs in @verb.

[Caution]Caution

Every <claim> must have at least one subject, either @subject (self or ancestral <body>) or a child <subject>

[Caution]Caution

Any predefined strictures on verbs must be respected.

[Caution]Caution

Every <claim> must have at least one subject, either @subject (self or ancestral <body>) or a child <subject>

The element claim-basis points to a textual passage that serves as the rationale for why a claim was made.

Formal Definition

~ed-stamp?, {empty}

Used by: ~rationale

Formal Definition

~ed-stamp?, {empty}

Used by: ~claim


The element modal contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a modal or adverb that qualifies the verb of an assertion.

See main.xml# keywords-modal for standard vocabulary.

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core


The element object is similar to @object, but for complex content, mainly concepts that do not lend themselves to the IRI + name pattern, particularly languages and units or passages of text.

Formal Definition

~ed-stamp?, (~nontextual-reference | {empty})

Used by: ~claim, ~complex-object

[Caution]Caution

<object>s taking strings must match the predefined @object-datatype for the verb.

[Caution]Caution

<object>s taking strings for verbs that have lexical constraints must match those lexical constraints.


The element person contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a person. This element is very similar to <agent>, but does not imply that the person had anything to do with the data in the TAN file.

Although person implies a single individual, this element may be applied to corporate entities, or groups of more than one person.

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core


The element place contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a spatial location, usually somewhere on earth

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core

The element scriptum contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a text-bearing object.

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core


The element subject points to text references that act as the subject of the claim.

Multiple values of <subject> are interpreted to mean "and", resulting in distribution of the claim (e.g., subject="x y" becomes "x [verby]..." and "y [verb]...").

Formal Definition

~ed-stamp?, {empty}

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~other-body-attributes, ~claim, ~subject

[Caution]Caution

Every <claim> must have at least one subject, either @subject (self or ancestral <body>) or a child <subject>

The element topic declares one or more topics, to be used in conjunction with @topic under <align> to associate alignments with specific topics instead of verbatim parallels.

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core

The element unit contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a unit type (e.g., millimeters, seconds, Euros), to be used in conjunction with <object> to specify the meaning of a value

Formal Definition

~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~TAN-c-decl-core

The element verb contains an IRI + name pattern identifying a property, relationship, action, or something else that is used to say something about something.

The preferred term "verb" is equivalent to RDF "predicate." The latter term is avoided as misleading, since in ordinary usage the term "predicate" implies everything in a sentence that is not the subject.

Formal Definition

~object-constraint?, ~decl-pattern-default

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~other-body-attributes, ~TAN-c-decl-core, ~claim

[Caution]Caution

Claims involving verbs whose object is constrained must use <object>, not @object.

[Caution]Caution

Verbs that have object constraints must not be combined with other verbs in @verb.


The attribute adverb names a <modal> that qualifies the claim.

Multiple values of @adverb are interpreted to mean "and" with intersection. No distribution takes place (e.g., adverb="x y" means "[subject] x & y [verby]...", not "[subject] x [verb]..." and "[subject] y [verb]...").

Formal Definition

Used by: ~claim


The attribute claim-basis points to an entity that serves as the rationale for why a claim was made.

Formal Definition

Used by: ~rationale


The attribute claimant points to an <agent> or <person> who makes a claim. @claimant within <body> indicates the default persons to be credited or blamed for an assertion.

Claimants are not to be confused with the editor of a TAN file. If an editor X writes a TAN-c file that says that person Y makes such-and-such a claim, then the implication is that X claims that Y claims that....

This attribute is taken into account before all other attributes. That is, @claimant is to be interpreted to mean: "@claimant states the following:...." Multiple values of @claimant are interpreted to mean "and", resulting in distribution of the claim (e.g., claimant="x y" becomes "x claims that..." and "y claims that...").

If you wish to claim that claimant X claimed that claimant Y claimed that claimant Z...., only the original claimant is given to @claimant, and each of the other claimants are placed in a @subject in an embedded <claim> that serves as the object of the master <claim>.

This attribute is inheritable. See the section called “Interpretation of inheritable attributes”

Formal Definition

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~other-body-attributes, ~claim


The attribute object takes one or more ID refs of entities defined in <head> that serve as the grammatical object of a claim. For example, if you wish to say that work A is a commentary on work B, then the object would have the ID ref for work B. If you wish to make more complex assertions, use <object>.

Multiple values of @object are interpreted to mean "and", resulting in distribution of the claim (e.g., object="x y" becomes "[subject] [verb] x" and "[subject] [verb] y...").

In RDF, the concept of object (the third element of a triple) is required. In TAN-c, it is not required, since some <verb>s may be intransitive (e.g., "Charlie slept.").

Formal Definition

Used by: ~claim, ~object

The attribute object-datatype specifies the type of data that the object must take. This attribute is intended to specify that a particular verb governs raw units, not entities definable by the IRI + name pattern. Use this attribute if and only if the verb may not govern objects defined in <declarations>.

Formal Definition

string (pattern string|boolean|decimal|float|double|duration|dateTime|time|date|gYearMonth|gYear|gMonthDay|gDay|gMonth|hexBinary|base64Binary|anyURI|QName|normalizedString|token|language|NMTOKEN|NMTOKENS|Name|NCName|ID|IDREF|IDREFS|ENTITY|ENTITIES|integer|nonPositiveInteger|negativeInteger|long|int|short|byte|nonNegativeInteger|unsignedLong|unsignedInt|unsignedShort|unsignedByte|positiveInteger)

Used by: ~object-constraint

[Caution]Caution

Claims involving verbs whose object is constrained must use <object>, not @object.

[Caution]Caution

Verbs that have object constraints must not be combined with other verbs in @verb.

[Caution]Caution

<object>s taking strings must match the predefined @object-datatype for the verb.


The attribute object-lexical-constraint specifies a regular expression that constrains the value of any <object>.

Note that the regular expression will be strictly followed, e.g., "\d+" will be satisfied by "a1". If you wish to constrain the entire value, be sure to use ^ and $, e.g., "^\d+$".

Formal Definition

Used by: ~object-constraint

[Caution]Caution

Claims involving verbs whose object is constrained must use <object>, not @object.

[Caution]Caution

Verbs that have object constraints must not be combined with other verbs in @verb.

[Caution]Caution

<object>s taking strings for verbs that have lexical constraints must match those lexical constraints.

The attribute subject points to one or more ID refs of entities defined in <head> that serve as the grammatical subject of a claim. @subject within <body> indicates the default subject(s) for <claim>s.

Multiple values of @subject are interpreted to mean "and", resulting in distribution of the claim (e.g., subject="x y" becomes "x [verby]..." and "y [verb]...").

Formal Definition

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~other-body-attributes, ~claim, ~subject

[Caution]Caution

Every <claim> must have at least one subject, either @subject (self or ancestral <body>) or a child <subject>

The attribute units points to the ID ref of a <unit>, defining the type of units.

Formal Definition

Used by: ~nontextual-reference

The attribute verb points to one or more <verb>s that serve to assert something of the @subject.

The preferred term "verb" is equivalent to RDF "predicate." The latter term is avoided as being misleading -- most who use TAN will understand "predicate," grammatically speaking, to refer to everything in a sentence that is not the subject.

Multiple values of @verb are interpreted to mean "and", resulting in distribution of the claim (e.g., verb="x y" becomes "[subject] x ..." and "[subject] y...").

Formal Definition

Used by: ~set-of-claims, ~other-body-attributes, ~claim

[Caution]Caution

Any predefined strictures on verbs must be respected.

[Caution]Caution

Every <claim> must have at least one subject, either @subject (self or ancestral <body>) or a child <subject>

The attribute where restricts the <claim> to a specific <place>. Multiple values of @where are interpreted to mean "or" with union. No distribution takes place (e.g., where="x y" means "[subject] x or y [verby]...", not "[subject] x [verb]..." and "[subject] y [verb]...").

Formal Definition

Used by: ~claim