getting involved with XPath

Currently I am reading here to learn more about XPath.  I need this knowledge to be able to navigate through PLS and SSML documents.  To be more precise: at the moment, I don’t use PLS and SSML.  I am just using XML.  And why is that?  The answer is easy to understand: XML is less complicated than PLS or SSML.  I am trying to steal the tags that are part of the PLS and SSML specifications.  And I am trying to implement those tags into XML.  In the long term, I would like to employ PLS and SSML directly.  But step by step.  Before I do that, I have to know more about XSLT and XPath.  This is the basic knowledge.

To be a bit more specific about PLS: I want to transform a pronunciation dictionary (UTF-8, PLS, IPA) into a different document (UTF-8 or ASCII, PLS and HTK compatible, SAMPA like).  So in the end, I would have two or three different versions of the same pronunciation dictionary.  And to achieve this goal, I need XPath.  I have to navigate not only through the elements and the attributes of the elements but also through the IPA-symbols themselves.  And the details are pretty complicated, I assume.  But I have found an example (I set a hyperlink to this example in a different weblog entry) that is very promising.  There is a special XPath syntax that should help me to find the solution.  And I am confident that XPath is compatible with UTF-8.  So there shouldn’t occur any problems at this layer.

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