Language for taxonomic names
doug at ewellic.org
Tue Sep 23 08:14:29 CEST 2008
Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing dot org dot uk> wrote:
> Some years ago,, I raised the prospect of a special language code for
> the taxonomic names (also called "scientific names" of living things:
> I would again like to ask for discussion of the matter, and
> suggestions for a solution.
I agree with Peter Constable that this doesn't meet the requirements for
a true "language." You can't express arbitrary content, or even
particularly diverse content, in this system. It is usable for short
phrases within a limited scope. At best, it's a profile of Latin.
> The options would seem to be (listed in my order of preference) to
> treat taxonomic names as being in:
> * a unique language, say "tax"/ "tx"; or "bio"
> * a sub-set of Latin la-tx
These cannot be registered in the IANA Language Subtag Registry. All
2-letter and 3-letter language subtags must be derived from ISO 639 code
elements. It does not matter which combinations are currently assigned
in ISO 639 and which are not; we cannot grab from this pile.
Addison is correct that "this list can register primary language
subtags," but such subtags must be 5 to 8 letters long.
(BTW, 'tax' and 'bio' are both assigned in ISO 639-3.)
> * a "zxx" case, say "zxx-taxo"
This would be a "variant subtag," which again must be 5 to 8 characters
long (unless it starts with a digit, in which case it can be 4
I don't know what to think about the idea of registering variant subtags
with a Prefix of "no linguistic content." Syntactically, of course,
there is no problem.
Doug Ewell * Thornton, Colorado, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14
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