Formal request for "French (all periods)"

Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Feb 14 09:21:39 CET 2007

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> however, there are rules about what sort of subtags can be used with a 
> macrolanguage tag; by macrolanguage subtag do we mean extended 
> language subtag?  There are peculiar rules for the extended language 
> subtag (but I do not see any peculiar rules about macrolanguage 
> subtags otherwise; so it's my guess that the macrolanguage subtag, if 
> not the same as an extended language subtag, could not be used with 
> other primary language subtags such as fro, frm, and fr, the 
> macrolanguage subtag would have to be used alone; but either a 2- or 
> 3- letter subtag would be o.k.; someone correct me if I am wrong).

I think we're at risk of getting messed up by the terminology.  There is 
no such thing as a "macrolanguage tag" or "macrolanguage subtag."  There 
are primary language subtags, some of which are derived from code 
elements that represent macrolanguages in ISO 639-3.  In the RFC 4646bis 
era, there will also be extended language subtags, all of which will be 
derived from code elements that represent individual languages 
encompassed by a macrolanguage.

The relationship between "ISO 639-3 macrolanguage" and "primary language 
subtag that can be used with an extlang" is not 1-to-1, because existing 
primary language subtags cannot be demoted to extlangs by dint of being 
encompassed by a macrolanguage.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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