pinyin (and wadegile) request has gotten derailed

Randy Presuhn randy_presuhn at
Sat Sep 13 20:53:35 CEST 2008

Hi -

> From: "CE Whitehead" <cewcathar at>
> To: <ietf-languages at>
> Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 10:53 AM
> Subject: RE: pinyin (and wadegile) request has gotten derailed
>  however I think Tibetan does not require so many distinctions in tone
> as to make Hanyu Pinyin ill-suited; see:

While Pinyin doesn't have the tone distinctions necessary for Cantonese,
its problem with respect to Tibetan is that it lacks representations for
some Tibetan phonemes.  The article you cite shows, for example,
additional characters needed to adequately represent Tibetan vowels
that  do not occur in Mandarin.

> If Mark wants to use [zh-Latn-pinyin] (or whatever) to tag
> primarily Mandarin content that is fine as [zh] is the only
> subtag available, and Mandarin speakers will probably
> be able to find their content??  But we don't have to
> restrict the subtag [zh] here to mean that . . . 

No one is proposing that we change the zh- subtag in any way.
The question is whether the subtag -pinyin should be for a specific
orthography of a specific language, as requested, or should be
broadened into a new kind of generic subtag usable for any member
of a family of  -Latn orthographies, with some other mechanism
used to identify the specific language in question.

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