ON LANGUAGE NAMES /// RE: Results of Duplicate Busters Survey #2//Ainu, Aynu, Ajnu

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Sat Sep 13 02:26:39 CEST 2008

Another point, certainly on-topic this time since it deals with BCP 47 
tag usage...

Lang Gérard <gerard dot lang at insee dot fr> wrote:

> -use "ain-JP", "ain-RU" and "ajn-CN" as corresponding language tags.

Region subtags should be used only when necessary to identify 
region-specific language usage.  With 15 living speakers of "Ainu 
(Japan)," it's unlikely there is much need to distinguish "Japanese 
usage" from "Russian usage."  Ethnologue says "There were at least 19 
dialects"; it's not impossible that these might need identifying, if 
enough samples exist.

If Ethnologue is correct that "Ainu (China)" is spoken only in a few 
villages in western China, then no region subtag should be needed to 
distinguish varieties of that language either.

It should go utterly without saying that using region subtags to 
distinguish "Ainu (Japan)" and "Ainu (China)," which are *completely 
different and unrelated languages*, would be a pointless exercise.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages  ˆ

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