Script codes in RFC 3066, 4 issues
mark.davis at jtcsv.com
Wed Apr 9 13:08:38 CEST 2003
The original proposal called just the script a writing system. I have no
objection to calling the combination of language + script a "writing
system". Distinguishing between "orthography" and "spelling system" somewhat
tenuous, although they certainly could be defined to be different terms in
the context of a document.
(مرقص بن داود)
mark.davis at jtcsv.com
IBM, MS 50-2/B11, 5600 Cottle Rd, SJ CA 95193
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----- Original Message -----
From: <Peter_Constable at sil.org>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis at jtcsv.com>
Cc: <ietf-languages at alvestrand.no>; <ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no>;
"John Cowan" <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 09:31
Subject: Re: Script codes in RFC 3066, 4 issues
> Mark Davis wrote on 04/09/2003 09:06:42 AM:
> > 1. One small quibble:
> > > A writing system is encoded by
> > > an ISO 15924 script code. An orthography is encoded by an ISO 3166-1
> > The term writing system is often contrasted with script. There is no
> > identify them; it is simpler to always use script:
> > "A script is encoded by an ISO 15924 script code."
> The latter statement is, of course, self-evidently appropriate, but it
> misses what I think John was getting at. There is a kind of distinction
> that needs to be made as illustrated in examples like Azeri in Cyrillic
> script versus Azeri in Arabic script, or English in the common Latin
> orthography versus English in phonetic transcription versus English in
> These things to be distinguished are not scripts; they are something else.
> In the papers that I wrote and to which John referred, I proposed the
> terminology "writing system" for this type of category. Ken Whistler has
> been concerned as this usage since it doesn't match usage familiar to
> grammatologists, and so is potentially confusing. Hence, he has suggested
> that my terminology should be changed thus:
> instead of my "writing system", use "orthography"
> instead of my "orthography", use "spelling convention"
> I have no strong objection, since it's important that we can communicate
> clearly, and since I place more importance on finding the best underlying
> ontological model than on the terminology that is adopted.
> What I think John was meaning, then, is that an orthography (or "writing
> system" -- whichever term is preferred) is encoded by combining an ISO
> 15924 script ID with a language ID.
> > There are compatibility issues with this both ISO 639 codes and
> > codes are growing; a "shortest" code may change over time, which makes
> > use of a code now legal, tomorrow illegal. (E.g., a new ISO 639 code
> > subsumes an Ethnologue code.)
> could you provide a hypothetical example to illustrate what the concern
> here is?
> > 3. For compatibility, also we need that once a 3066bis code, forever a
> > 3066bis code. That is, even if the Ethnologue or ISO remove/deprecate a
> > code, that code is remains forever valid for use in a 3066bis subtag.
> Absolutely. I would add, though, that changes will inevitably be needed as
> knowledge of languages improves and as the sociolinguistic realities
> change, and so relationships betweeen IDs that become deprecated and new
> IDs that replace them needs to be documented. This has begun to happen
> the Ethnologue, and I would expect that information to be incorporated
> what is provided with ISO 639-3.
> - Peter
> Peter Constable
> Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
> 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
> Tel: +1 972 708 7485
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