A stake in the ground

ISO639-3 at sil.org ISO639-3 at sil.org
Thu Dec 10 15:58:42 CET 2009

How was the case of Estonian [et/est] (Standard Estonian [ekk] and Voro 
[vro]) handled earlier this year by this body?
The change documentation in ISO 639-3 is located at 

Joan Spanne
ISO 639-3/RA
SIL International
7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd
Dallas, TX 75236
ISO639-3 at sil.org

John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> 
Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no
2009-12-09 11:57 PM

ietf-languages at iana.org

Re: A stake in the ground

I finally found the original criteria that LTRU used to decide which
macrolanguages were made usable with extlang tags.  The details are
at http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ltru/current/msg08904.html ,
but in summary, Peter Constable divided macrolanguages into seven groups:

1) Macrolanguage tag is deprecated.

2) Macrolanguage code has been widely used; a single encompassed language
is dominant.

3) Macrolanguage code has been widely used; no encompassed language
is dominant.

4) Macrolanguage code has been widely used; more than one encompassed
language is dominant.

5-7) Macrolanguage code has *not* been widely used; same division as 2-4.

LTRU decided to place languages encompassed by macrolanguages in group
2, and only those in group 2, into the registry with extlang subtags.
It seems clear to me that of the five new macrolanguages being proposed,
Latvian and Lithuanian fall into group 2, Blang and Central Bontoc fall
into one of groups 5-7, and Low German (if that even flies) into group 3.

Therefore, I retract my stake in the ground in favor of a new one:
Standard Latvin, Latgalian, Standard Lithuanian, and Samogitian should
be assigned extlang subtags, and the others should not.  This assumes,
of course, that changes 2009-048 (Latvian) and 2009-049 (Lithuanian)
actually do pass the RA.

Do I contradict myself?                         John Cowan
Very well then, I contradict myself.            cowan at ccil.org
I am large, I contain multitudes.               http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
        --Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
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