Phonetic orthographies

Don Osborn dzo at
Sat Nov 25 20:37:01 CET 2006

John Cowan wrote:
> Gerard Meijssen scripsit:
> > Correct tagging implies that it is precise.
> This may be true in your particular application of language tagging,
> but not in general.  Often precision is unobtainable or even
> undesirable.  RFC 4646 says "tag wisely", *not* "tag exhaustively".

Thanks for this remark re tagging. The way I read it, the appropriate or
"wise" precision of the tagging depends on the context and need. In some
cases, imprecision might accommodate reality more appropriately, and in
others more precision would be indicated.

In returning to the Wikipedia & WiktionaryZ discussion earlier, I would
think that Wikipedia would not always want to be too precise (ISO-639-3 has
20-some codes for Arabic, but you'd only want to use ISO-639-1's code ar for [with only a rare possible exception]). 

On the other hand, WiktionaryZ might want to rely more systematically on
ISO-639-3 (and eventually perhaps -6) which can specify the origins and use
of words that may be particular in form, pronunciation or meaning according
to dialect.

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