Addison Phillips addison at
Fri Sep 1 18:28:03 CEST 2006

> That argument doesn't take you very far, given BYZANTINE MUSICAL SYMBOL 

I think the argument about the form of the subtag is not very useful in 
its present form. With proposals for "eastern" and "western", the issue 
we face is, in my opinion, quite important and should be dealt with 

1. We have historical precedent for subtags restricted to a specific 
dialect. Witnesss 'nedis' and 'rozaj' in the current registry.

2. We do not have a history of registering "generic" subtags. Although 
'eastern' and 'western' would initially indicate Armenian dialects, it 
is quite clear that these subtags could have additional Prefix fields 
added which would indicate other, unrelated, dialects of other languages.

It seems clear to me that there are distinct entities of some sort that 
Mark needs to tag. The question before us is whether we should expand on 
precedent and register semi-generic subtags or continue the existing 
practice of registering very specific subtags for very specific purposes.

Personally, I do not support truly generic subtags ('eastern' with no 
Prefix at all), since I think those subtags would lead to undesirable 
tag choices and confusion about tag choice.

I therefore think that, given current practice, we should not register 
'eastern' and 'western' at this time, but we should register subtags 
(perhaps Michael's suggested ones) with the "same meaning" to meet 
Mark's needs.

I think the argument about how Mark has chosen to split/lump dialects is 
a chimera: nothing says that competing subtags could not be registered 
that split Armenian in a "different direction" (possibly for a different 

If Mark feels that semi-generic subtags are actually necessary and that 
Armenian dialects are just a useful test case, then I think we should 
have a full-fledged discussion of what the guidelines ought to be for 
their adoption and use.

The use case for semi-generic subtags, in my mind, is not proved by a 
single case. What we need are four or five languages (exact number not 
important) that indicate how eastern/western or northern/southern would 
work in practice.

Also: what happens if we have "tlh-western" and a new subdialect 
"fooish" is registered. Do we do "tlh-western-fooish" or "tlh-fooish"?

Best Regards,


Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Yahoo! Inc.

Internationalization is an architecture.
It is not a feature.

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