Request for variant subtag fr 16th-c 17th-c

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Dec 13 17:57:52 CET 2006

Michael Everson scripsit:

> Is it possible to describe these language variants without using 
> centuries?

Diffidently (being neither francophone nor Romance-ologist) I suggest
that all this is a result of taking the dates in 639-2 too seriously.
The definition of Middle vs. Modern French is primarily an internal
one, not an external chronological one.  If a document is readily
intelligible to current francophones, it's effectively Modern French;
if not, it's effectively Middle.  Therefore, my advice is to use
the dates as a rough guideline only.

If French people in the New World were writing what looks more like
Middle than Modern French during the 16th century, tag it as frm;
if some earlier French is relatively modern, tag it as fr.  If you
are worried about undue constriction of search, use both.

> Do members of this group think that century subtags are a good idea?

I think they come under the same category as the geographical subtags
that we already rejected.

Only do what only you can do.               John Cowan <cowan at>
  --Edsger W. Dijkstra's advice
    to a student in search of a thesis

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