language tag structure

Peter Constable petercon at
Mon Jan 17 16:17:07 CET 2005

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of JFC (Jefsey) Morfin

> >Your other four components, language, script (not "scripting", please),
> Thank you for the "scripting" correction. However I have a question on
> this. I want to indicate the way the text is written - like in
> "handwriting". I feel that one of the problems of this list (well defined
> in BPC 025 § 2.3) is an internal view of the problem at hand. Not of its
> global external impact. In here I do not consider only the ISO scripts
> list, but the real way networked life will consider them as vernacular
> vehicles, including barcodes, RFIDs, voice, menus, scanerised handwriting,
> etc.
> Does "script" covers all this? Thank you.

"Scripting" is definitely wrong. What we need to distinguish goes slightly beyond script; e.g. Kachin in its Latin practical orthography versus phonetic transcription of Kachin using Latin-based phonetic symbols.

On the other hand, we do not need to distinguish printed forms from scanned handwriting -- these are tags for identifying the linguistic form, not the file format or the means of generating the text. I don't see the relevance of menus: we're not tagging genres of documents. Nor do I see the relevance of barcodes or RFIDs -- I suppose these technologies could be used to encode linguistic texts, but even so we want describe the linguistic variety of the text, not the encoding format.

Voice *is* relevant, but I'm not sure there's a need to include in these tags an indicator that the content is voice content rather than text content. I won't rule out the possibility that a case could be made for it, however.

> > >     - the authoritative source/reference is Microsoft (and they miss a
> > > _lot_ of words)...

> I will take an example. There is a major lingual change in France (not in
> French) about the way to address a she-civil servant...

If you think people are going to tag content to distinguish down to the level of individual lexical innovations, I'd say you're dreaming.

Peter Constable

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