Doug Ewell doug at
Wed Sep 10 06:43:13 CEST 2008

Kent Karlsson <kent dot karlsson14 at comhem dot se> wrote:

> See, note point 3 
> starting with "Weituoma Pīnyīn" (note the "pinyin" part) which refers 
> to Wade-Giles romanisation. See also the first sentence of 

That only proves what I already conceded: that the word "pinyin" means 
"alphabet" in Chinese, and so can arguably be used to describe any 
romanization.  That was clearly not Mark's intent in requesting separate 
subtags for "Pinyin" and for Wade-Giles.

Randy Presuhn <randy underscore presuhn at mindspring dot com> wrote:

>> The question of whether "Pinyin" by itself is commonly used to refer 
>> to other romanizations, especially those called "Something-Else 
>> Pinyin" as opposed to "Hanyu Pinyin," is really at the heart of the 
>> divide between Michael's viewpoint and Randy's (et al.) viewpoint.
> ... I'm not too concerned with the string used for the subtag.

Sorry for the confusion.  I wasn't referring to the subtag value 
either -- if I were, I wouldn't have uppercased it.  I was talking about 
the concept of "Pinyin" itself.  And it now seems that we have at least 
three interpretations of that word:

1. Hanyu Pinyin only (exemplified by Mark)
2. Hanyu Pinyin and other romanizations that "derive from Pinyin 
orthographic conventions" (Michael)
3. Any romanization of a Chinese language (Kent)

I pray there is not a fourth interpretation; it's bad enough already.

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

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