How many subtags is ideal? [RE: LANGUAGE TAG REGISTRATION FORM: iu-Cans]

Peter Constable petercon at
Fri Feb 4 21:54:01 CET 2005

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of John Clews

> On the other hand, I even the 3-element tag may not be enough. Indeed,
> understand that there are different spelling conentions used in
> Inuktitut in syllabics in Eastern and Western parts of Canada.

RFC 3066bis, as proposed, would provide the "variant" element, which is
one way this distinction could be accommodated.

> Or in the medium term (and better still?) that same situation may be
> solved once it becomes decided that it is possible to use codes from
> forthcoming ISO 639-3, where the differentiation would almost
certainly be
> acheived by using a different 3-letter language subtag as the first
> in the cases of:
> East Canadian Inuktitut written in Syllabics, and
> West Canadian Inuktitut written in Syllabics.

The draft code table for ISO 639-3 does, indeed, include separate
identifiers for "Eastern Canadian Inuktitut" (ike) and "Western Canadian
Inuktitut" (ikt). The category iu/iku, "Inuktitut", is considered a
macrolanguage category that encompasses both ike and ikt.

So, use of ISO 639-3 identifiers is another potential option for making
this distinction.

Peter Constable

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