Request for variant subtag fr 16th-c 17th-c Resubmitted!

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Sat Jan 20 22:19:41 CET 2007

Hi again!

Doug my comments to your email are below; I guess I am clear to send a new 
>CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>>Hi, did IETF reject my proposals for subtags then?  (fr, frm, 16siecle or 
>>1606Nict and 17siecle or 1694acad??)
>It's not IETF per se that accepts or rejects subtags, but rather the 
>Language Subtag Reviewer (Michael Everson) who is appointed by IETF, and 
>who was confirmed in that role by IESG on 2006-02-21.
>In any event, I believe Michael's last action on these requests was on 
>December 18:  "I will not accept either of these subtags unless associated 
>with one and only one prefix."  I don't recall whether your resubmitted 
>proposals still have the basic feature of associating the proposed subtags 
>with both "fr" and "frm".

Thanks for info.

I have not resubmitted the proposals since then.  I am asking permission to; 
I gather thought that I can from another list member's private email to me; 
so I'll get to that in a minute; there is just one prefix now with each 
subtag; I must await a macrolanguage tag for French before trying to 
associate any other prefix (which would be the macrolanguage tag)
>>If so I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to resubmit my request with 
>>  just two tags, one for the 16siecle (frm; I might use 1606Nict or maybe 
>>just refer to Montaigne's Essais in the tag with a date, 1690s or a name 
>>Montgne or Essais) and one for the 17siecle (fr) probably 1694acad for the 
>>17siecle and even a country code could be added!
>A country code, or rather a region subtag, can be added to any 
>non-generative tag.  This is recommended if and only if it help to identify 
>the language variety (which appears to be the case here).  This group does 
>not register region subtags proposed by individuals, only those guided by 
>ISO 3166 and UN M.49.

Well, for the French in France there is no regional tag that can be added!
I guess I remember reading somewhere back in the back of my mind that only 
variant subtags were acceptable which is the kind of tag I am asking for.
The variation across countries is actually not that great, except that 
probably most French in Americas would have elements of "moyen francais" in 
the 17th century whereas in France many texts created in the literary salon 
environment would not but other texts might (such as Gabrielle Suchon's 
"Petit Traite" but the moyen francais elements here are perhaps not as 
strong; but here, someone has translated her into modern French:
""La liberté". (Traduction en français moderne, introduction et notes), Des 
femmes, Paris 1988"--
>>The subtag for the variant would in some way indicate that the language 
>>was in transition, which would make me happy!
>I don't know if there's any wording about this, but I'm a bit concerned 
>about how much transitional state can be captured in language tags. 
>Languages are always in transition, sometimes more so, sometimes less so.
>>I would not know how to take the issue up for macro language in any case, 
>>but feel a French macrolanguage would be a good idea but that is 
>>apparently outside of IETF's jurisdiction
>Macrolanguages are completely within the jurisdiction of ISO 639-3.  If you 
>feel they should broaden the scope of the macrolanguage concept to cover 
>early/middle/modern distinctions, you should take it up with them.

Thanks for this info on macrolanguages.  It is helpful.
A macrolanguage is one way to indicate that the early/middle/modern 
varieties are related and it can also indicate a relation between French and 
various Creoles/dialects; the issue comes when we look at dialects in the 
South like Provencal, Occitan, which are in some ways closer to Catalan (a 
dialect of Spain and Andorras too, Andorrras I think has been overlooked by 
the ca tag, but that is another issue)  and to Galllego (a dialect of 
Portugal?); and then at a dialect of the North, Breton, which is also 
classified as Celtic.
Otherwise, a macrolanguage would be a grand solution!

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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