Language Subtag Registration Form: variant "signed"

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Feb 28 21:15:03 CET 2006

Peter Constable scripsit:

> - We treat "sgn" as though it were a macrolanguage. (My contact said
> that really wasn't that much of a stretch.)


> - We use ISO 639-3 IDs as extlang subtags together with a primary subtag
> of "sgn"; e.g., "sgn-ase" for ASL. All signed languages (SLs proper,
> not the Signed English cases) use tags constructed this way.

I'd be okay with this if it weren't for the existing registered sgn-XX

> - We generally treat varieties like Signed English as registers of the
> signed language they are associated with. Thus, the tag is formed by
> adding a variant subtag to the tag for the sign language. Because there
> can be multiple varieties for a given sign language/spoken language
> combination, registered variant subtags provide the necessary level of
> flexibility. E.g. something like "sgn-ase-enexact" "sng-ase-enexact2"
> for SEE and SEE2; and "sgn-ase-esbaja" for the signed Spanish spoken
> in southern Baja California (which is based on ASL).

My proposal differs from this only in the point that instead of registering
these ad hoc varieties, we use an -s- singleton that allows us to supply
*any* spoken language as the morphosyntactic source.  So instead of
sgn-ase-esbaja we have sgn-ase-s-es. is a nice page on
various manually coded Englishes around the world that illustrates
the diversity of the problem.

You escaped them by the will-death              John Cowan
and the Way of the Black Wheel.                 cowan at
I could not.  --Great-Souled Sam      

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