pinyin (and wadegile) request has gotten derailed

Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Sep 18 00:12:13 CEST 2008

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Michael Everson

>> What I have requested is a subtag for distinguishing a
>> particular set of orthographic conventions for romanization
>> of Mandarin Chinese, not Tibetan...

> Maybe, but the subtag you requested can apply to more than one
> language. That is the point.

Michael, this comes across as a complete non sequitur: Mark says, "I'm asking for something that applies to one specific language," and you respond, "What you asked for can apply to multiple languages." Clearly what you are talking about is not the same thing that Mark is talking about.

Mark's point is that he wants a subtag specifically for Hanyu Pinyin -- that is, something specific to Mandarin.

Your point is that the subtag "pinyin" has a mnemonic value that can be related to languages other than Mandarin. That's a different and independent point.

There are two issues that have been on the table:

1. Should the semantic scope of the subtag be specific to an orthography for Mandarin only, or should it encompass other (however-related) orthographies?

2. Should the form of the subtag be "pinyin" or something else?

You are commenting on the latter issue while assuming one answer to the former; but your assumption wrt the former is different from Mark's.

I get the argument regarding the mnemonic value of "pinyin", but I'm not convinced it's the last word. A subtag "af" may hold certain mnemonic value for people interested in Afar, but that doesn't mean that it would be correct for people to use "af" for Afar content, AND it also doesn't mean that we should have the semantic scope of "af" be broad enough to encompass both Afar and Afrikaans. At some point, we do expect users of the registry to read the documentation in the registry and apply it appropriately.

> You may need zh-cmn-Latn-pinyin, but the final subtag there
> can be correctly applied to bo-Latn-pinyin and zh-Latn-TW-pinyin.

Only if we define it that way. We can choose to register "pinyin" to mean something more specific, as Mark requested.

> I do not agree to restrict the "pinyin" subtag to Hanyu Pinyin
> on linguistic grounds. The three languages mentioned above use
> Pinyin conventions in certain romanizations...
> I am happy to agree to add the "pinyin" subtag so long as it
> can be used for Tibetan and Tongyong...

Perhaps you should be preparing an alternate request form in which you point to documentation defining Pinyin conventions that cover all three languages.


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