iu-ike (Eastern Canadian Inuktitut) and iu-ikt (Western Canadian Inuktitut), etc

Peter Constable petercon at microsoft.com
Sun Feb 6 05:24:59 CET 2005

> From: John Clews [mailto:scripts20 at uk2.net]

> Actually, yes, I do think that there are some important issues here
> you DO need to worry about...

> John Cowan also wrote, in another email:
> > Indeed.  Currently, ISO 639-3 tags cannot be used in the first
> > but they can be used in later ones...

All of the issues you identify pertain to the cases John referred to.
But nobody is asking to register these tags at this time. At most, the
only question that's raised is whether iu-Cans and other tags should be
registered if there's a possibility that tags distinguishing Eastern and
Western Inuktitut may be needed.

> 1. Would ISO 639-2 Macrolanguages be used as an initial tag?
> Presumably yes (hence the iu-... examples above by John Cowan).

A question that needs to be considered at whatever point we want to
incorporate the yet-to-be-published standard ISO 639-3. I think it is a
possibility that should be considered, but it's not a decision that
needs to be taken now.

> 2. Should tags from the current draft ISO 639-3 be permitted as
> subtags? Actually, yes, I think they should  (to the extent of
> ISO 639-3 when allocating subtags) to ensure that there is
> compatibility in RFC 3066bis with all parts of ISO 639.

I agree: whether we register tags now that are taken from ISO/DIS 639-3
or not, we should make sure not to register something that would be
incompatible with it.

> 3. Note that ISO 639-3 does NOT map to the Ethnologue exactly -
> there is at least one item missing (noted as xxx below).
> iu-ike Eastern Canadian Inuktitut
> iu-ikt Western Canadian Inuktitut
> iu-xxx North Alaskan Inuktitut

The item I think you're looking for is listed in ISO/DIS 639-3 as esi,
North Alaskan Inupiatun. It (along with Northwest Alaska Inupiatun, esk)
corresponds in ISO 639-1/-2 to ik / ipk.

> 4. Would ISO 639-3 Macrolanguages (listed in ISO 639-3, Table 3:
> Mapping of macrolanguage code elements to individual language
> code elements) be permitted in RFC 3066bis subtags? Presumably not.

I think they should not.

> 5. Here's the information from the Ethnologue...


What edition are you looking at? The 14th edition used "Inupiatun" for
the name. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=ESI

Peter Constable

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