Script codes in RFC 3066

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Apr 9 18:59:21 CEST 2003

Caoimhin O Donnaile scripsit:

> Although nodes and links between nodes will no doubt change
> as scholarships and opinions on the "best" hierarchy progress, provided
> that the nodes have "atomic" codes, most of the nodes and most of
> the links should remain stable.  Applications would continue to work
> just the same despite changes elsewhere (e.g. a new "Nostratic" top
> level or an "Insular Celtic" level between "Goidelic" and "Celtic").

Yes, I think this would be workable, provided the hierarchy is replaced
by a heterarchy (i.e. multiple parent nodes are allowed).  There are many
areas of descriptive linguistics where there simply is no "best" opinion,
particularly in Africa and America.

So Indo-European might have three parents:  Nostratic (on one theory),
Eurasiatic (on another theory), or the root (the default and currently
most common theory).  Similarly, the ISO 639-2 codes that aren't
genealogical, like "North American Indian languages", can be handled
as parents.

I think your use cases are quite good, although they are drawn from the
fairly well-understood families Indo-European and Austronesian.

What is the sound of Perl?  Is it not the       John Cowan
sound of a [Ww]all that people have stopped     jcowan at
banging their head against?  --Larry  

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