Request for variant subtag fr 16th-c 17th-c RESUBMISSION

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Fri Jan 26 22:13:31 CET 2007

Hi, my responses to Doug's comments on the prefixes and description fields 
are below!
>CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>>Well actually the goal was not to tag any text twice as both fr and frm
>I didn't say it was; I said "the same text... could have been tagged as 
>either 'middle' or 'modern' French... depending on the whim of the author."
>>so much as to allow the page creator to determine whether the French was 
>>modern enough to be considered modern French for his/her audience or 
>>needed to be labelled as Middle French because of problems reading it.  
>>(this is important to students/persons learning French in particular, or 
>>to persons who are not completely literate).
>Interoperability is best served if the same text is tagged the same way, 
>consistently.  The identity of the text lies within the text, not the 

>>It is actual possible currently for a text to be tagged as both fr and frm 
>>(provided your page is not embedded in someone else's document) in order 
>>to insure that a person who searches for a 1650's document gets it whether 
>>they search for it as frm or fr.
>That is my point.  Your text is not in two different languages, Middle 
>French and Modern French.  It is in a particular variety of French that 
>lies somewhere between Middle and Modern French, and you need a subtag for 
>that variety.  That is fine and understandable, and I don't think anyone is 
>challenging that.  But you cannot say that the language is both Middle 
>French *and* Modern French at once.

Yes, so what prefix do you suggest?

But I do think there are perhaps enough differences between the late 16th c 
French and the 17th century French to use:
frm as the prefix for the subtag for the 16th century variant  (1606Nict)
fr as the prefix for the subtag for the 17th century variant (1694acad)

though these are subtle (with just the Pleiade and Montagne, we find a more 
standardized 16th century variant with consistent use of the forms including 
the forms for the past participle;
we find texts from the Americas in the 17th century; and less stable forms, 
particularly less stable forms for the past participle, and also we find 
what appear to be 'throwbacks' to 15th century French and late fro; though 
French is more stable--and more modern-- for writers such as Mme. de 
LaFayette and Perrault who participate in the literary salons).

>If you want a text that can justifiably be tagged in more than one language 
>simultaneously, you need something like "Dieser Satz contient des mots in 
>four diversas idiomas."

mul  ??
>>But you have told me I am only allowed to request one prefix so that is 
>>why I am doing so.
>If you think it is just me, then I will gladly recuse myself from this 
>discussion and we can see how the Reviewer and the rest of the list feel 
>about it.

No need to recuse yourself Doug; thanks; I'm happy with just one prefix for 
each if that is what everyone agrees is best; I want to make sure though 
that everyone, including any French/Francophone members, accepts the single 
prefix for each.
>However, I do need to point out before recusing myself that the two 
>Description fields:
>    French as catalogued in Jean Nicot, "Thresor de la langue francoyse" 
>1606; ARTFL Project, University of Chicago.
Perhaps it might read:
Late middle French (16th century)
though I have been focusing primarily on the French of the Pleiade forward 
till the end of the century.

>    early modern French as catalogued in the "Dictionnaire de l'académe 
>françoise", 4eme ed. 1694; includes elements of Middle French; also new 
>terms from the Americas
Now it is:
Early modern French (17th century).

>are still much longer and more encyclopedic than any Description fields we 
>have in the Registry.

Both descriptions have been revised/are in the process of revision, through 
the list discussion and through my revisions of them here.

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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