Sign Languages and early 639 standards

Peter Constable petercon at
Tue Oct 7 11:17:06 CEST 2008

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 12:02 PM

> Chris Cox scripsit:

>> the absence of sign languages until 639-3 has IMO nothing to do with
>> recognition as languages but to do with the requirement for proof of some 50
>> published works in the language to qualify for a two or three letter
>> representation and name.
> The works need not be published...

Nonetheless, I think the gist of his suggested explanation is correct: ISO 639-1 and 639-2 were created to support particular needs, and nobody expressed a need in earlier periods to tag signed-language documents. That situation has definitely changed in the past decade.


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