John Cowan cowan at
Thu Sep 11 20:57:18 CEST 2008

Mark Davis scripsit:

> We have two main types of subtags:
> 1. Specific.
> Some variant subtags have a specific meaning, and only really makes
> sense with a small number of possible prefixes.
> Examples:
> en-US-valygirl : valley-girl US English
> hy-arevela : Eastern Armenian
> el-polyton : Polytonic Greek


> 2. General.
> With this type of variant subtag, the meaning of the subtag has
> reasonable independent meaning, and not closely tied to a particular
> prefix.
> hy-eastern : my original request for Eastern Armenian (turned down)
> fr-fonipa : French in IPA

Michael is proposing that 'pinyin' be a member of a third class, where
there is a specific meaning that is sensible across a group of varieties
with a common factor.  Current examples:

1994: bridges all sl-rozaj dialects
baku1926: bridges many Soviet Turkic languages

Correspondingly, 'pinyin' would bridge the orthographies of languages
written in China (including Taiwan) that are based on variants of the
Hanyu Pinyin orthography, rather than being specific to Hanyu Pinyin
alone; it would not cover Wade-Giles, as that does not share
the Hanyu Pinyin conventions.

If you understand,                      John Cowan
   things are just as they are;
if you do not understand,               cowan at
   things are just as they are.

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