Reactions on the WiktionaryZ answers

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Nov 14 06:32:36 CET 2006

Gerard Meijssen scripsit:

> WiktionaryZ will include words that are from orthographies like the 1996 
> or the 2006 Dutch "Groene boekje" but also the competing "Witte 
> spelling". This level of granularity is as far as I can see currently 
> lacking from both IANA and ISO-639-6. 

Competing orthographies that are actually in use (i.e. not mere proposals
with no actual support) can be added to the IANA registry easily,
using the same mechanism as dialects.

> SIL maintains the ISO-639-3. ISO-639-3 includes many dead languages. I 
> am sure that there is not much experience requesting new languages from 
> SIL. By being the sole maintainer of this standard they will be 
> responsible in performing their task I imagine. Given the low number of 
> languages in ISO-639-2 I have little to go on that the expansion by 
> requesting new languages worked well.

639-2 and 639-3 have different roots, and a lot of work has been
done to make them compatible.  Ancient and artificial languages,
by the way, are registered by Language List, which serves as a
sub-registrar to SIL.

> I do not fear that either the ISO-639-3 or the ISO-639-6 codes will 
> change. This is as likely as I expect this to happen for IANA subtags. 

Neither one is subject to change.

Work hard,                                      John Cowan
play hard,                                      cowan at
die young,                            
rot quickly.

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