ISO 639 name change: Songhai languages
petercon at microsoft.com
Tue Jan 9 05:45:52 CET 2007
From: Don Osborn [mailto:dzo at bisharat.net]
> So aside from someone like me (in this case) taking the
> time to pass on some suggestions, is there any way that
> the listings can give caveats? Such as - "this language
> is also part of a macrolanguage x" (the individual language
> pages on the 639-3 site do this;
Well, there you go.
> Ethnologue might do similarly).
I think it's out of scope for Ethnologue; language coding is not its
purpose. (But that's just my opinion; I don't speak for the Ethnologue.
You can always suggest it to them.)
> And "the writing system of this language may be determined
> in each country it is spoken." (or some such).
Well, in principle that could be done -- if somebody actually had
comprehensive knowledge about orthographies. But I know of nobody who
does. If someone did, that would be beyond the scope of ISO 639. I know
there are some people at SIL that are interested in starting an
initiative to compile that kind of info and make it available, but that
doesn't exist today.
> give pertinent added info to alert users in the case of more
> complex language/macrolanguage situations (I should perhaps
> suggest something along these lines for Ethnologue 16 online).
It never hurts to try suggesting.
> In the end maybe no degree of caveats and alerts will avoid
> some kinds of misuse, but some might help.
Offering guidance certainly can't hurt, while the lack of guidance can.
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