Addition to ISO 639-3: [lyg]

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 24 19:01:59 CEST 2008

ISO639-3 at scripsit:

> I apologize; the file was not present. It had not been copied from the 
> development server when the rest of the data was copied. It is now there. 
> Thank you for alerting me.

Thanks for the quick fix.

> I trust the comment document will answer your confusion. The documentation 
> page does indicate that Lyngngam was adopted, though the associated 
> proposed changes were not.

Okay; this raises issues for the list.  An unofficial summary of what
happened: Lyngngam was formerly regarded as a highly divergent dialect of
Khasi 'kha'.  The proposal was to promote 'kha' to a macrolanguage code
element, and introduce new elements for Khasi proper and for Lyngngam.
This was rejected in favor adding 'lyg' for Lyngngam, implicitly narrowing
the denotation of 'kha' to exclude it.

This is a disruptive thing to do, but 639/RA considered it less
disruptive, given the absence of evidence[*] that anyone has used 'kha'
to denote Lyngngam content, than doing something that would effectively
introduce a near-synonym for 'kha'.  This is the more important because
'kha' is also a 639-2 code element and thus already in wide use.

My overall feeling is that we should accept the narrowing, which is only
implicit (it does not require actual changes to the registry entry for

[*] "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is not always a
sound principle of reasoning.  There is no actual *evidence* that I
have not murdered Jimmy Hoffa, but it would be absurd to treat me as
a suspect, since there is also no evidence that I have.  Furthermore,
if I had been investigated but were cleared, it would be unfair to me
to treat the question as still open with respect to me.

Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.  Deshil Holles eamus.
Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening, and wombfruit. (3x)
Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!  Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa!
  -- Joyce, Ulysses, "Oxen of the Sun"       cowan at

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