Doug Ewell doug at
Tue Sep 9 07:31:13 CEST 2008

John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> wrote:

>> Nobody has seriously proposed making 'pinyin' a generic variant like 
>> 'fonipa'.  At most they have suggested that a small set of languages 
>> be added as multiple Prefix fields.
> On the contrary, that is exactly what Michael has proposed: making the 
> subtag 'pinyin' mean 'any romanization called pin1yin1 in Chinese, 
> except for wei1tuo3ma3 pin1yin1, otherwise known as Wade-Giles 
> romanization.

Sorry, I hadn't read his latest post closely enough:

> Accordingly, I believe that the best course of action is *not* to 
> specify a prefix.

Previously I thought he was proposing "zh" to allow all Chinese, with an 
option to add "bo" and others on a one-off basis.

I agree that this is excessive, though I would not have said that about 
"zh".  You can't write just any imaginable language in Pinyin -- any 
Pinyin -- the way you can write any language in IPA.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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