Principles of Operation (was: LANGUAGE SUBTAG REQUEST FORM, Erzgebirgisch)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Jan 29 18:25:08 CET 2008

Hi.Either of Ciaran's proposed solutions--
(1), making de stand for a German macrolanguage;
 or else, (2), using [gem] which already at ethnologue indicates many of the varieties in question (Low Saxon, Franconian, Standard German; in the language subtag registry it is listed as indicating all varieties of German so I would assume that would include Upper Saxon for which there is no code)--
would be fine with me.
--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at 
> From: ciaran at> To: ietf-languages at>> Doug wrote:> > > Karen has already pointed out that 'de' refers to Standard German. See> >> > and .> > ...> > I no longer have a strong opinion on whether "de" or "sxu" in the best> > prefix for Erzgebirgisch -- Ethnologue is inconclusive, and others> > experts appear to differ -- but we must choose one and only one.
I tend to oppose now strictly defining Erzgebirgisch as Upper Saxon unless most all native speakers of its varieties see it as such.
(But I'm still not sure how to classify it linguistically, from the information given so far at this list, and from what's available at ethnologue and wikipedia.)
> > > > I see two alternatives to working with this nebulous concept of "de". They> are at opposite ends of a spectrum, but both are very clear (whether or not> they are "allowed").> > One is to make "de" really stand for Standard German, and to have no variant> subtags. Then any German dialect goes to one of (gsw, nds, nl, lb, sxu,> etc) as long as the experts are agreed. When they are not, as seems to be> the case with Erzgebirgisch, the answer is gem, which is of course defined> by exclusion. Other standard languages like nl and lb can likewise be> singletons, while their dialects go to gem.> > The other way is to make "de" stand for the German macrolanguage, the whole> lot. Erzgebirgisch is then a variant of "de". This is how languages other> than German are treated, viz the language subtag is expected to cover the> dialects, labelled by variant subtags. It seems to me the most> satisfactory. There remains the question of the lack of a (formalized)> relationship between the "de" macrolanguage and language subtags like gsw,> sxu etc. which have been assigned to particular forms of it.> > Ciarán Ó Duibhín> > 
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