"Century" variants (was: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 22 00:13:50 CET 2006

ietf-languages at iana.org
Hi, I am not asking for tags for 18th century and French  like Voltaire and 
Rousseau wrote in.  I am asking for tags to identify 16th or 17th century 
French in transition from Middle to Modern which was ultimately regularized 
into modern French by the Academie Francaise.
C. E. W.

>From: Gerard Meijssen <gerardm at wiktionaryz.org>
>To: CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail.com>
>CC: dewell at adelphia.net,  ietf-languages at iana.org
>Subject: Re: "Century" variants (was: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?)
>Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 15:40:29 +0100
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>What we discuss is what language something is. A reworked version of 
>Voltaire or Rouseau is not the work the man wrote, it is modern French. 
>What a tag should indicate is the language used and not what is being said 
>or who it is attributed to. I do think the IETF is involved in describing 
>what a particular content technically is.
>An adaptation is as different from the original as a translation would be, 
>it is derived from a different era, in many ways a different culture.
>   Gerard
>CE Whitehead schreef:
>>Hi, thanks, I will fill out the forms as I do think someone looking for 
>>Voltaire or Rousseau will specify Voltaire or Rouseau.
>>In addition, Middle French is not that far from 17th century; someone 
>>looking for 17th century French might want both.
>>So I am particularly interested in the subtags for the 16thc and 17thc.
>>When the tag indicates the date, the user would then not go to the pages 
>>he/she did not want, but I feel with literature the only problem would be 
>>when someone wanted 16th century French translated into Modern French (and 
>>it is normally not translated, unlike Old French, which often is available 
>>in Modern French; correct me if I'm wrong here.)
>>--C. E. Whitehead
>>>From: "Doug Ewell" <dewell at adelphia.net>
>>>CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>>>>Of course, an ordinary user looking for a French text might not want 
>>>>Middle or Old French.  Middle French would be readable probably to the 
>>>>ordinary user, though different from Modern French.  The documents would 
>>>>be literary anyway and should not interest the ordinary user and 
>>>>probably would not come up in a search for business and shopping; they 
>>>>would come up in a search for French literature.  Only in a search for 
>>>>French literature I would think (hopefully, if the search engine works, 
>>>>if no one has put all kinds of fictitious stuff in the meta content 
>>>Even scholars of French literature, looking for (say) Voltaire or 
>>>Rousseau, may not necessarily want to pull up works in Old or Middle 
>>>French such as the chansons de geste.  The scholar who will accept 
>>>material in any of the three languages, like the businessman who will 
>>>accept English or French or Japanese, needs to specify this preference 
>>>>In addition, should the pages come up, the second part of the tag 
>>>>indicates the date of the language.
>>>Here you are talking about the suggested "12thc" variant subtags, not the 
>>>ISO 639-based subtags "fr" and "frm" and "fro".
>>>I stand by the caveats I mentioned about the arbitrariness of tagging 
>>>language as "12th century."
>>>>If your pages are inserted into the body of a page created by the host's 
>>>>application, there is no place to list more than one language at a time; 
>>>>you can of course list different text processing languages in the 
>>>>various subsections delineated by html or xml or xhtml  (such as p for 
>>>>paragraph, div for division, span for still another section heading); 
>>>>but only one at a time.
>>>Yes, that is how it is done with existing technologies.  Most text, even 
>>>multilingual text, is in only one language *at a time*.  For text that is 
>>>truly in multiple languages simultaneously, such as "she has a certain je 
>>>ne sais quoi about her," the solution is for the language-tagging 
>>>structure of the text format -- HTML or PDF or proprietary word processor 
>>>or whatever -- to allow multiple language tags, NOT for a single language 
>>>tag to represent more than one language.
>>>>There is no way to identify a single language as both fr, French, and 
>>>>frm, Middle French.
>>>I assume you mean "identify a single text."
>>>>I'd like to say further that the option of having tags for say the 
>>>>European languages labelled: 12thc, 13thc, 14thc, 15thc, 16thc, 17thc 
>>>>would help those who needed to clarify the exact date of a language or 
>>>>language variant.
>>>>I feel these would be useful tags!
>>>Then go ahead and fill out the necessary forms from RFC 4646 and send 
>>>them to this list.
>>>Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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