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

Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Jan 30 15:28:42 CET 2008

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> Hi.Either of Ciaran's proposed solutions--
> (1), making de stand for a German macrolanguage;

The macrolanguage that is not defined by ISO 639-3/RA is not the true 

> 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

The Registry does not say that 'de' indicates "all varieties of German" 
or that it does not.  It says: "Description: German".  Ciarán and John 
are working out what they feel this means, in a world where some people 
speak varieties of what they would consider "German" and others speak a 
dialect closely related to German but which they would not consider 
"German."  The Registry is not an encyclopedia of language information 
and does not attempt to sort all this out.

> so I would assume that would include Upper Saxon for which there is no 
> code)--

There is a code (actually a code element).  There is not yet a subtag, 
but one day there will be, if RFC 4646bis is approved.

> would be fine with me.

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

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