ISO 639 and other language identifiers

John Cowan
Tue, 7 May 2002 09:48:32 -0400 (EDT)

Havard Hjulstad scripsit:

> I believe that some level of "family" or "hierarchy" information will be
> extremely useful, and not too controversial. Language identifiers that gives
> you a language name only, without actually identifying which language you
> are talking about, certainly has its limitations!

Precisely the reason why the RFC 3066 process, as distinct from the
ISO process, *demands* that references to documentation such as grammars
or dictionaries be supplied, so that it may be established once and
for all just which language is being referred to.  Language hierarchy
information cannot serve this purpose, for it is subject to change as
theoretical understanding increases (or, God forbid, regresses); but a
description of a language remains a description of that very language
and not some other language.

John Cowan <>
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_