Addition request: alsatian

Doug Ewell dewell at
Fri Jan 4 07:52:01 CET 2008

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer at nic dot fr> wrote:

> There are two reasons why I'm not inclined towards gsw-FR:
> 1) A general wariness against region codes, which are not in general 
> good discriminants for languages. Here, the political border does not 
> completely coincide with the linguistic border. See for instance the 
> map in

I don't believe it's our place in ietf-languages to make this sort of 
judgment call.  RFC 4646, section 2.2.4 says:

"Region subtags are used to indicate linguistic variations associated 
with or appropriate to a specific country, territory, or region."

That is the primary identification of Alsatian: it is a dialect 
associated with the Alsace region.  There is never any expectation that 
linguistic and national boundaries will "completely coincide"; it is a 
question of identity, not exact location.

Since we're referencing Wikipedia, here is the first sentence of the 
English-language page on "Alsatian language":

"Alsatian (Elsässerditsch; French: Alsacien; German: Elsässisch or 
Elsässerdeutsch) is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of 
Alsace, a region in eastern France which has passed between French and 
German control many times."

The French and German pages also identify the Alsatian dialect with the 
Alsace region in the first sentence.

> 2) A search problem: there is no easy way in the registry to find a 
> tag for alsatian. You cannot stick a Description to a tag, only to a 
> subtag (except for grandfathered tags). I do not think that "taggers" 
> will think of gsw-FR for alsatian.

Type: language
Subtag: gsw
Description: Swiss German
Description: Alemannic
Added: 2006-03-08
Suppress-Script: Latn
Comment: gsw-FR represents the Alsatian dialect

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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