Language Identifier List up for comments

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Dec 15 18:17:45 CET 2004

Mark Davis scripsit:

> John indicated that the purpose of the list is "plausible" language tags. If
> that is the critera, then without having to do extensive and fairly
> difficult research, I'd say that it is each 639 code alone, then for each
> tag add the combinations of scripts that are used with it.

Since productive script tags are not yet available, I'd like to just deal
with 639 codes + country codes at this point.  I agree that in the RFC 3066bis
regime, we will need to extend the work to handle productive script tags
more or less in the way you outline.

> Then for each of those tags that have significant speaker populations
> in different regions, add the combinations.

Interpreting this criterion strictly will tend to overproduce tags.
For example, PM (St. Pierre & Miquelon) certainly has a "significant"
population of fr speakers (namely everybody), but it's more than doubtful
that it is meaningful to tag something fr-PM, for lack of distinctiveness.

Fortunately, because the list is in the nature of a best-practices
document, it can and will evolve over time.

Said Agatha Christie / To E. Philips Oppenheim  John Cowan
"Who is this Hemingway? / Who is this Proust?   jcowan at
Who is this Vladimir / Whatchamacallum,
This neopostrealist / Rabble?" she groused.
        --author unknown to me; any suggestions?

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