German as used in Liechtenstein

John Cowan jcowan at
Thu Dec 23 05:34:38 CET 2004

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin scripsit:

> IMHO tagging must result from the choice of the granularity of the 
> reference dimensions (ISO  639-3, UN/LOCODE - which extends ISO 3166 - 
> Unicode - etc.) and from a semantic permitting to support a neuronal use 
> (the same as there are macrolanguages, ISO 3166 is a macrosociogeographic 
> approach of UN/LOCODE, etc) and information inclusion to permit further 
> data mining.

Except in very restricted contexts (e.g. dialect geography), specifying
the location of a language to higher granularity than a nation is not
useful.  It is nation-states that prescribe official orthographies,
when they exist at all (many languages have none).

> There should be no debate about the German used in Liechtenstein, only an 
> existing database entry updated when necessary by a local authoritative 
> source. 

Often such sources do not exist.  English is official in Canada and
Cameroon, for example, but not in the U.S. or the U.K., so no
authoritative source for its use in the latter two countries can be found.
Nor are there authoritative dictionaries of English.

"Your worships will perhaps be thinking         John Cowan
that it is an easy thing to blow up a dog?      http:/
[Or] to write a book?"                
    --Don Quixote, Introduction                 jcowan at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list