No subject

Tue Nov 18 23:43:20 CET 2008

ISO 639-3, which is updated annually, so such discrepancies are to be
expected.  The Ethnologue web site (as distinct from the SIL 639-3 web
site) is tied to the Ethnologue printed book, and new editions of that
are issued only every few years.  The 1st edition was issued in 1951,
and Wikipedia says that the next, or 16th, edition will be issued in 2009.
JAS: This is not an oversight, nor is it Ethnologue lagging behind the ISO =

process. A look back in the 14th ed. of the Ethnologue shows that Akan was =

a variety there, as an individual language, with dialects Fante and Twi=20
(among others). The Ethnologue editorial staff decided for the 15th ed.=20
(online now) that Akan is the language unit of the level they address, and =

Fanti and Twi are dialects. There was lengthy consideration consulting a=20
number of people (okay, I suspect it was mostly SIL people, but I am=20
reasonably sure they consulted government representatives and other=20
linguists in Ghana, as well). There was a strongly unified position that=20
Twi and Fanti are subvarieties and should not be considered separate=20
languages. I got emails about it yet again this year, worried that=20
Ethnologue was going to put in Twi and Fanti separately.
btw, Ethnologue staff have made a similar decision with regard to=20
Norwegian (Nynorsk and Bokm=E5l) for the 16th ed. It is at their discretion=
I don't control the Ethnologue's determination of which ISO 639 code=20
elements they include, or exclude. I have tried to make a case, though,=20
that the online ethnologue makes it clear when they are treating a=20
macrolanguage individually (so to speak).

> 2. This is more of a request; it would be quite handy if the web
> queries (both for ISO 639-3 and the Ethnologue) also took the BCP 47
> forms, eg.
> worked just like:

I heartily agree.
JAS: I will discuss it with my webmaster. I do not think it will be a=20
problem. While ISO 639-3 does not actually contain [ar], neither does it=20
contain [afa], but=20
does work, and=20 does not.
So I will try to get us consistent.

And retrieved from Mark's original:
3. Now that ISO 639-5 is out, are there any plans to update the
Language Family Index, so as to add the new codes that were missing?

Eg, so that we'd see on=20

Indo-European (ine)
  Albanian (sqj)
  Baltic (bat)
  Germanic (gem)
The table in ISO 639-3 of the language families is interesting (eg ine
: gem : gmw), but (a) incomplete, since it doesn't actually include
the elements of gmw, and (b) not machine readable (grrrh).


JAS: I think you mean "the table in ISO 639-5..." not in 639-3.
I have a draft mapping of Part 3 onto the tree of Part 5, but its (Part=20
5's) structure is incomplete (as you tacitly point out), and right now we=20
(the JAC) appear somewhat stalled on how to move ahead. And yes, a machine =

readable hierarchy is needed. I know Rebecca Guenther and LoC have been=20
working on that.

Andrew Watt on Microsoft:                       John Cowan
Never in the field of human computing           cowan at
has so much been paid by so many      
to so few! (pace Winston Churchill)
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<td width=3D40%><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif"><b>John Cowan &lt;cowan@=;</b>
<br><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at alve=</font>
<p><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">2008-11-21 01:55 PM</font>
<td width=3D59%>
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<div align=3Dright><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">To</font></div>
<td><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">Mark Davis &lt;mark at
<tr valign=3Dtop>
<div align=3Dright><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">cc</font></div>
<td><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">&quot;ietf-languages at;
&lt;ietf-languages at;</font>
<tr valign=3Dtop>
<div align=3Dright><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">Subject</font></div>
<td><font size=3D1 face=3D"sans-serif">Re: Questions on ISO 639-3.</font></=
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<br><tt><font size=3D2>Mark Davis scripsit:<br>
&gt; I have a couple of questions about ISO 639-3 (and the Ethnologue)
&gt; I'm hoping someone here can answer or forward.<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; 1. Is there an oversight with Akan?<br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; <br>
&gt; shows Akan as a Macrolanguage, but has a Denotation that points to
&gt; Ethnologue, where it is treated as if it were an individual language.<=

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