New item in ISO 639-2 - Zaza

Peter Constable petercon at
Fri Aug 25 02:45:20 CEST 2006

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell

> The fallback problem has been considered paramount to this point, and
> was the reason for inventing extended language subtags in the first
> place.

My recollection is that the idea of extended language subtags was my idea, and that fallback was not the paramount reason why it occurred to me that we do that.

> That's a very good question, especially since -- despite the presence of
> a draft 639-3 table that considers Dimli and Kirmanjki to be separate
> languages -- the ISO 639 RAs-JAC has decided to combine them into one
> code element.  It's no different from the German example.

If we were assuming 3066ter were already in place, it would be different: de has existed for a long time while zza is new. 

But, what is the same about the two is that before you'd have a valid tag xxx and now the question becomes whether we allow a tag yy(y)-xxx for the same thing (either in addition to or as a replacement for the original).

My thought is: if a new macrolanguage yyy is added to 639 for which there are macrolanguage mappings to some entity xxx that pre-existed, or of macrolanguage mappings are added to some entity xxx that pre-existed (the two scenarios where this issue can arise), then we do not allow xxx to be used as an extlang; it can only be used as a primary subtag as it had before the change.

Peter Constable

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