Randy Presuhn randy_presuhn at mindspring.com
Tue Aug 26 09:09:14 CEST 2008

Hi -

> From: "Andrew Cunningham" <lang.support at gmail.com>
> To: "Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn at mindspring.com>
> Cc: <ietf-languages at iana.org>
> Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 11:37 PM
> Subject: Re: wadegile and pinyin LANGUAGE SUBTAG REGISTRATION FORMs
> playing devil's advocate:
> If zh-pinyin is Mandarin in Hanyu Pinyin, can the pinyin variant be used
> with other languages, since Mongol, Uyghur, and Tibetan, etc can be
> officially transcribed in Pinyin in PRC?

That would be about as meaningful as re-using the 1996 subtag for
some language other than German.  In short, "no".

Looking at the Wikipedia article on the phonlogy of Tibetan, it
looks like extensions would be needed to Hanyu Pinyin to make it
work for Tibetan phonology, both for the glottal stop and the mid
front rounded vowel, both of are lacking in Mandarin.  From this I'd
surmise (does anyone have direct knowledge of these cases?) that
the use of Pinyin for Tibetan either requires extensions,
assigns different phonemes to some letters, or doesn't really represent
the phonology of the language.  If any of these is true, it really
is a distinct orthography from Hanyu pinyin and should get a distinct
subtag, if someone sees a need to request a registration for it.

> And at the moment I'll refrain from discussing other romanisation schemes
> such as Tongyong Pinyin and Guangdong romanization?

Someone who needs those should submit registration requests
for appropriate variants.  We can't (and shouldn't even try to)
anticipate all possible registration requests on this list.  We're
here simply to process the ones that are submitted, and make sure
that the ones we accept are clear and unambiguous.


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