ON LANGUAGE NAMES /// RE: Results of Duplicate Busters Survey #2//Ainu
doug at ewellic.org
Wed Sep 10 14:54:25 CEST 2008
Lang Gérard wrote:
> In my opinion, "Ainou-QX" (covering all Ainou languages of the Pacific
> Zone), "Ainu-JP" (covering the Ainu language spoken in Japan),
> "Ainu-RU-SHK" (covering the Ainu language spoken in Eastern Russia)
> and "Aynu-CN" (covering the Aynu language spoken in China), would be
> google and google times more adequate "Language Tags" that "Ainu
> (Japan)" and "Ainu (China), that I find very dangerous.
You can always use a region subtag to qualify a particular language by
regional usage, even a language whose Description field includes a
country name in parentheses. Thus you can say "ain-JP" or "ain-RU" if
there is a need to distinguish between the versions of "Ainu (Japan)"
used in Japan and Russia. (Note that ISO 3166-2 code elements like
'SHK' still cannot be used in language tags, for reasons or syntax and
stability that I and others have already stated.)
But it would make no sense to create a tag for "all Ainou languages of
the Pacific Zone" using any syntax. The two "Ainu" languages are
completely unrelated except for their coincidental names: "Ainu (China)"
is a Turkic language while "Ainu (Japan)" is an isolate. They have less
in common than members of a macrolanguage or even a collection code,
less in common than French and Italian. One might as well create a tag
for "all languages starting with the letter A."
The parenthesized country name in subtags like "Ainu (Japan)"
distinguishes this language from others that happen to share its name.
It says, "This is the 'Ainu' that is associated with Japan, not the one
associated with China." But it does not restrict the tag to usage in
Doug Ewell * Thornton, Colorado, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14
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