Language Subtag Registration Form: variant "signed"

Michael Everson everson at
Mon Feb 27 10:45:31 CET 2006

At 15:39 -0800 2006-02-26, Peter Constable wrote:

>  > 1) Do Sign Language tags *have* to be rushed?
>I have no particular reason to rush signed languages in IETF 
>language tags. I very much wish you hadn't rushed a bunch of tags 
>through five years ago.

Five years ago I was responding to a user request for a number of tags.

>  > 2) Do the Sign Language tags in 639-3 *have* to be accepted at this
>  > stage, or is there scope for further work on this (by pulling them
>  > out before publication)?
>I know of no reason for the signed languages identified in 
>Ethnologue 15 not to be included in ISO 639-3.

I think that Sign Languages work differently and interact differently 
with spoken languages than spoken languages interact with one 
another. I think they ought to have their own namespace (e.g., sgn-), 
not just be lumped in with 6000 other spoken languages. I think the 
Ethnologue taxonomy doesn't handle "signed spoken languages" well, 
and I think that all of those three-letter codes should be pulloed 
from 639-3 until we can discuss and clarify the matter with Gallaudet 
etc. They can always been added to 639-3 in due course. But I think 
the whole area needs another serious look. (And I'm willing to put 
the RFC 3066 tags on the table if the 639-3 tags are.)
Michael Everson *

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