pinyin (and wadegile) request has gotten derailed

Michael Everson everson at
Thu Sep 18 00:43:02 CEST 2008

Hi everyone. It's 23:40. I was on a very nice train from 14:00 to  
19:30 from London to Penzance today. Went to a pub with wifi and  
uploaded what I'd written on the train to you. Went for a curry. Came  
back to find 35 new messages!

On 17 Sep 2008, at 23:12, Peter Constable wrote:

> Mark's point is that he wants a subtag specifically for Hanyu Pinyin  
> -- that is, something specific to Mandarin.

Subset of what I have proposed. Meets his needs. Covers other things  
as well.

> Your point is that the subtag "pinyin" has a mnemonic value that can  
> be related to languages other than Mandarin. That's a different and  
> independent point.

No, it's not. My point is that "pinyin" is analogous to "fonupa" in  
that it is a set of coherent orthographic conventions which is  
applicable to a number of languages in China. These pinyin  
orthographies part of a family in the same way that pre-IPA Uralicist  
transcriptions are. Appropriate use of prefixes can allow us to  
describe these correctly, including Mark's immediate needs.

> There are two issues that have been on the table:
> 1. Should the semantic scope of the subtag be specific to an  
> orthography for Mandarin only, or should it encompass other (however- 
> related) orthographies?

I'm quite sure that it should be, because this is a family of related  
orthographies, one of which (the Hanyu one) is particularly well-known.

> 2. Should the form of the subtag be "pinyin" or something else?

Do let's have it be "pinyin" and let the registration define it  

> I get the argument regarding the mnemonic value of "pinyin", but I'm  
> not convinced it's the last word. A subtag "af" may hold certain  
> mnemonic value for people interested in Afar, but that doesn't mean  
> that it would be correct for people to use "af" for Afar content,  
> AND it also doesn't mean that we should have the semantic scope of  
> "af" be broad enough to encompass both Afar and Afrikaans. At some  
> point, we do expect users of the registry to read the documentation  
> in the registry and apply it appropriately.

I don't find this analogy to be applicable.

>> You may need zh-cmn-Latn-pinyin, but the final subtag there can be  
>> correctly applied to bo-Latn-pinyin and zh-Latn-TW-pinyin.
> Only if we define it that way. We can choose to register "pinyin" to  
> mean something more specific, as Mark requested.

I'm trying to do the right thing here, which is to give Mark a tag and  
be able to meet other pretty reasonable requirements as well.

>> I do not agree to restrict the "pinyin" subtag to Hanyu Pinyin on  
>> linguistic grounds. The three languages mentioned above use Pinyin  
>> conventions in certain romanizations...
>> I am happy to agree to add the "pinyin" subtag so long as it can be  
>> used for Tibetan and Tongyong...
> Perhaps you should be preparing an alternate request form in which  
> you point to documentation defining Pinyin conventions that cover  
> all three languages.

That's probably a good idea, but I am not likely to be able to do so  
before I get back home to Westport Monday. I think links to the  
relevant documentation has been posted somewhere to this list in the  
last while. Please see my thread "Pinyin" about the prefixes and -Latn-.

Michael Everson *

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