LANGUAGE SUBTAG REGISTRATION FORM (R3): pinyin
everson at evertype.com
Tue Sep 9 09:32:10 CEST 2008
On 9 Sep 2008, at 03:37, John Cowan wrote:
> Doug Ewell scripsit:
>> The question of whether to assign "zh" or "zh-Latn" as the Prefix for
>> 'pinyin' has NOTHING to do with generic variants. Where did that
>> from? Nobody has seriously proposed making 'pinyin' a generic
>> like 'fonipa'. At most they have suggested that a small set of
>> languages be added as multiple Prefix fields.
> On the contrary, that is exactly what Michael has proposed: making the
> subtag 'pinyin' mean 'any romanization called pin1yin1 in Chinese,
> for wei1tuo3ma3 pin1yin1, otherwise known as Wade-Giles romanization.
> I think this proposal is totally wrong-headed, to be sure.
I don't. I don't see an argument for setting the prefix, as we did not
do so for similar Latin orthographic entities. I don't see Pinyin as
significantly different from IPA or UPA. All three of them use Latin
letters for orthographic purposes based on a set of agreed
conventions. In the case of Pinyin, the value of <q> and <x> for
instance are iconic. IPA may not be a perfect analogy here, but UPA
certainly is. I grant that more of you know something about IPA than
about UPA, but even so. There is a lot of variation in IPA usage.
In the first place, what does IPA mean? IPA 1949? IPA 1999? IPA broad
or narrow, phonetic or phonemic? All of those choices offer the same
kind of variation that we find between Mandarin Pinyin and Tibetan
Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin (Tongyong Pinyin and Hanyu Pinyin are 80%
the same). In Phonemic transcription, IPA conventions are looser than
narrow phonetic transcription: In Cornish for instance [eː] and [ɛ]
are /eː/ and /e/.
If you have a transducer to convert from zh-cmn-pinyin to zh-cmn-
wadegile and then to zh-TW-pinyin the transducer will be using three
different dictionaries in any case. The tags are mnemonic, not
22:10:32 John Cowan: I still think that 'pinyin' should refer solely
to Hanyu Pinyin, which is what 95% of all references to 'Pinyin' in
English refer to, and that other pin1yin1s should get their own subtags.
22:11:58 Michael Everson:
There are 28 Sino-Tibetan nationalities in China, and at least 25
others of different language groups. A fair percentage of these have
romanizations (whether transliterations or transcriptions) based on
Pinyin conventions. This *is* a generic subtag like "fonupa" and
"fonipa" are (even though the scope of "fonipa" is wider than that of
either "pinyin" or "fonupa"). Restricting the subtag "pinyin" to
Mandarin Chinese would be like restricting the subtag "fonupa" to
Sami. I do not agree that Tibetan Pinyin should have a subtag of its
own "bopinyin"; it shold be "bo-pinyin" alongside "zh-pinyin", with or
without "Latn" as required. Tongyong pinyin text too should be
specified by an appropriate concatenation of subtags, not by something
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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