Traits, States, and Events

an intrinsic, generally unchanging characteristic

status or quality that may well change over time

an occurrence or something that happened

  2010 Haiti earthquake

A 7.0 MMS earthquake that struck Haiti just outside Port-au-Prince.


The TEI provides three elements that allow you to record different types of information in your ographies: trait, state, and event

trait is used to record information that is generally unchanging and static. For a person, this might be a voice type, as in the example above. For a place, it might be the biome of the region.

state is used to describe statuses that change over time. In the example, pregnancy is used, but this could also include educational status (master’s student, postdoc, etc.), or something like "water ban in effect" or "high risk for wildfires" for places.

event is used to encode specific events related to the person, place, organization, etc. for which you are trying to provide contextual information. This could include disasters, as in the example above; mergers, in the case of organizations; deaths or births of significant relatives, in the cases of people, etc.

Contextual Nuances, slide 1 of 11