sgn-MT [et al.]: new RFC 3066 tag[s]
everson at evertype.com
Sun Oct 3 11:50:48 CEST 2004
At 20:02 -0700 2004-10-02, Doug Ewell wrote:
>Indeed, registering tags like this means that consumers are forced
>to look in the registry, even for a tag that conforms to the normal
>generative mechanism, because the registration may have given the
>tag a different meaning.
That is what the registry is for. I know, all this revision is
supposed to make it unnecessary but in this case any way
>"Sign languages as used in the United States" is not the same thing
>as "American Sign Language," as everyone on this list (on both sides
>of the debate) agrees.
"Sign languages as used in the United States" does not refer to a
language. It is an error. There is no such "language" as "Sign
Language". Each is a discreet entity with its own grammar and
vocabulary. Interestingly, some sign languages are related; French
Sign Language, Irish Sign Language, and American Sign Language were
all influenced by French missionaries helping to set up Deaf schools.
>Plus, when a tag like "sgn-XX" is registered to mean "the one and
>only XXish Sign Language," there is no longer an RFC 3066 tag that
>means "Sign Languages (i.e. one of possibly many) as used in XX."
>And there might be a reason to do just that.
I think the problem is that "sgn" does not refer to a language AT
ALL, and (as I suggested once a long time a go) I think the RFC
should define as SPECIAL syntax for what happens wit the prefix "sgn".
>Why shouldn't these be registered under RFC 3066 as:
>sgn-mdl for Maltese Sign Language
>sgn-tss for Taiwanese Sign Language
>sgn-fse for Finnish Sign Language
>sgn-xml for Malaysian Sign Language
Because that doesn't make sense to the existing user community who
has been using, and wishes to continue to use, the scheme as
>Such constructions are at least as much in keeping with the RFC 3066
>registration procedure as the language-plus-country "informative"
>registrations, possibly more so. There is already a precedent for
>registering tags composed of an ISO 639 code plus an invented
>3-letter subtag: no-bok, no-nyn, zh-gan, zh-min, zh-wuu, and zh-yue.
"xml" isn't very informative. ;-P
>The great benefit of this approach would be that these subtags (mdl,
>tss, fse, xml) are already the codes listed in the ISO 639-3 draft
>for these sign languages, so if that draft is approved with those
>codes, and RFC 3066bis is subsequently updated to allow ISO 639-3
>codes as extended language subtags, then these four registered tags
>will be automatically converted to "normal" tags that use the
Benefit to whom?
>OTOH, if the proposed language-country tags are registered, they will
>remain "grandfathered" exceptions forever.
I think the syntax for "sgn" should be defined to make sense.
"sgn-US" "American Sign Language". Surely "sgn-ase" is redundant, if
you are using those codes.
>I strongly support using "sgn-" together with the proposed ISO 639-3
>codes to create any new sign-language tags. I volunteer to help put
>together the registration forms, if desired.
Then you would want to deprecate "sgn-IE" in favour of "sgn-isg", and
I guess you will later want to deprecate that in favour of "isg"?
And what about Signed Spoken Languages? Those also MUST have country
codes. "sgn-eng-IE" is different from "sgn-eng-US" and *very*
different from "sgn-eng-GB". All of those are representations of
I do not relish explaining the proposed changes to the user
community, which helped develop this scheme. I would very much like
the scheme there to be adopted as a special case for "sgn" in RFC
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
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