registry vs. extensions...

han.steenwijk at han.steenwijk at
Tue Oct 21 15:43:07 CEST 2003

Addison Phillips < aphillips at> scripsit:

> My point is that registering tags that then become part of ISO639 is kludgey
> and confusing. And that there is a tendency for folks not to go to ISO639
> first and least take that registration authority's temperature (so to
> speak).

You guessed right! My reason for turning to RFC 3066 rather than ISO 639-2 is 
1) Somewhere in July 2000 I filed requests at ISO 639-2 for tags for Upper and 
Lower Sorbian. After a first reaction asking for some extra information in the 
weeks immediately following my requests I never heard of it anymore until, to my 
surprise, I saw the notice on this list in September 2003 that "hsb" and "dsb" 
were being registered at ISO 639-2.
2) Resian is not recognised as a minority language by any political body. Among 
scholars, only a handful (all non-Slovenes by origin) is inclined to treat it as 
such. Would ISO 639-2 be willing to break new ground here? 

However, like I said in todays's mail in the thread "Resian: priorities for 
action", I hereby withdraw the request set for subtags building on "sl-rozaj". I 
will get back to them once ISO 639-2 has handled my request for a primary tag.

So please keep on discussing the general problem raised by detailed dialect 
taxonomies. I find Addison's proposal of an -x- somewhere in the tag string, as 
a divider between the public and private parts, quite attractive.


Prof. Han Steenwijk
Universita di Padova
Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Anglo-Germaniche e Slave
Sezione di Slavistica
Via Beldomandi, 1
I-35139 Padova

e-mail: han.steenwijk at
tel.: (39) 049 8278669
fax:  (39) 049 8278679

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