Suppress-Script candidates (was: Re: frr, fy, ngo, tt)

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Sep 27 17:09:11 CEST 2006

Doug Ewell scripsit:

> Lines where LTRU has no script and CLDR has one are not something we 
> need to spend a great amount of time worrying about, unless there is a 
> genuine concern that people are going to start writing, say, 
> "ig-Latn-NG" and it won't match with "ig-NG".

Unfortunately, it is *precisely* that concern that got Suppress-Script:
into RFC 4646 in the first place.  So that is what we must get right.
When people are confronted with a "Script" drop-down menu, the instinct
will be to choose the correct answer rather than leaving it on default,
so without adequate Suppress-Script: information the result will indeed be

And I would be astonished if there wasn't historical Igbo writing with
the Arabic script, though it may be gone too long to worry about now.

> The ones where LTRU has one and CLDR has more than one are more 
> troubling to me, because it indicates we may have added a 
> Suppress-Script where we shouldn't have:
> >lang mo  ltru Latn cldr Cyrl Latn
> >lang ms  ltru Latn cldr Arab Latn

Yes, I'd have to say we screwed up on those two.  Fortunately, Moldovan
is only a separate language for political reasons (it's really Romanian,
as even the Moldovan Academy of Science agrees), and "ms-arab" is pretty
thoroughly obsolete.

> >lang pa  ltru Guru cldr Arab Guru

On this one I think we have it right, and CLDR has conflated Panjabi
(aka Eastern Panjabi, also spelled "Pun-") with Lahnda, a macrolanguage
which encompasses among other languages Western Panjabi, which is written
with Arabic script.  The latter will be "lah-pnb" in 4646bis.

That said, all of Hindi, Arabic, Panjabi, and Lahnda form a dialect
continuum, with no sharp distinctions *except* the scripts.

> >lang tr  ltru Latn cldr Arab Latn

Here too, I think we got it right.  It's Ottoman Turkish ('ota') that
was written in Arabic script, but the distinctions between 'ota' and
'tr' are profound: not just orthography, but syntax and vocabulary too.
There are whole pages of Ottoman writings of which a modern Turk,
supposing he knew how to read Turkish in the Arabic script (no trivial
achievement) would recognize not one single word.

Your worships will perhaps be thinking          John Cowan
that it is an easy thing to blow up a dog?
[Or] to write a book?
    --Don Quixote, Introduction                 cowan at

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