wadegile and pinyin LANGUAGE SUBTAG REGISTRATION FORMs
doug at ewellic.org
Tue Aug 26 02:14:16 CEST 2008
Mark Davis <mark at macchiato dot com> wrote:
> I believe the answer was stated. We're applying for a tag for Chinese
> Hanyu Pinyin and Wade-Giles romanizations. That cannot be done with
> prefixes of cmn or zh-cmn according to RFC 4646, which is the current
> specification in force for the IANA language subtag registry. If and
> when RFC4646bis passes, we would then register cmn or zh-cmn also as a
> prefix, but given the rate of progress so far, that is in the
> indefinite future, perhaps never. Those would be specifically Mandarin
> romanizations as opposed to Chinese romanizations.
It's clear that there is supposed to be a definite resolution within two
weeks, even if that resolution is "wait two more weeks, we haven't
However, as I remember, there were strong objections to allowing these
subtags to combine with 'zh', and RFC 4646 doesn't allow a variant
subtag to be attached to a grandfathered tag. So if the strong
objections are upheld, there isn't anything we can do unless and until
RFC 4646bis passes. (And I share your doubts as to whether this will
ever happen, after a 24-day stretch with no business conducted on the
> In any event, it is certainly well-defined, meaningful, and legitimate
> to register "pinyin" and "wadegile" with the prefix "zh-Latn", as
> meaning "Chinese momanizations"; they certainly exist and are in
> widespread usage.
I thought this would be fine, but others are concerned that "zh-pinyin"
could be used with other Chinese languages/dialects written in different
romanizations that are also called "pinyin." Apparently this would be
If we register "zh" as a prefix, we can't ever take it away, because of
the restriction against narrowing. We can only add other prefixes.
Doug Ewell * Thornton, Colorado, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14
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