cowan at ccil.org
Sun Feb 26 04:09:11 CET 2006
Doug Ewell scripsit:
> Let me paraphrase this into a question: In what way are sign languages
> different from other languages that requires them to be coded using a
> completely different model?
Three things: history, history, and history.
Is it a pity, in hindsignt, that we registered a bunch of tags for sign
languages based on a collective 639-2 tag and a country? Yes. Are we
stuck with it now? Yes. Can we easily change them to tags like ase or
sgn-ase instead of sgn-US? No, not easily.
There's a partial precedent for this. At one point, I proposed a
similar-style RFC 3066 tag for Haitian Creole French: cpf-hat, using
the collective 639-2 code element for French-based creole languages
plus the (14th ed.) Ethnologue code element for the language. Michael
counter-proposed cpf-ht, using the same collective code element plus
the country code for Haiti. I then dropped the matter and no code was
That's a Good Thing, since neither cpf-hat nor cpf-ht would fit the
3066bis/3066ter patterns. In the 3066ter regime, the code will simply
be hat, since Haitian Creole French is not part of a macrolanguage.
With sign languages, we weren't so lucky. We have to live with that.
Now we can either treat sgn-US and the 20 other registered tags as sui
generis, or we can extend the pattern to the other national-scope sign
languages, and treat the "minority" sign languages differently, either
as sgn-xxx or as just xxx. I proposed the former.
John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Humpty Dump Dublin squeaks through his norse
Humpty Dump Dublin hath a horrible vorse
But for all his kinks English / And his irismanx brogues
Humpty Dump Dublin's grandada of all rogues. --Cousin James
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