Doug Ewell doug at
Thu Sep 25 03:03:16 CEST 2008

"Phillips, Addison" <addison at amazon dot com> wrote:

> On the gripping hand, we could also register 'pinyin' to mean "any 
> Pinyin". Then if somebody needs the additional distinction later (like 
> next week), they could register subtags like 'hanyu' and 'tongyong' 
> or, heck, '2009acad' as pinyin variations.

That would be my thought.  Have we already established that the 
following is unworkable or unacceptable?

1. Register 'wadegile', meaning Wade-Giles.

2. Register 'pinyin', meaning any romanization that follows the general
   orthographic conventions of Hanyu Pinyin.

3. This already allows taggers to use "zh-(Latn-)pinyin" to convey the
   meaning they probably want to convey 99% of the time anyway.

4. If and when it is determined that finer granularity is required with
   respect to the various Pinyins, then register lower-level subtags:
   'hanyu', 'tongyong', 'canton', 'tibetan', etc.

5. This allows taggers to apply whatever level of granularity they feel
   is necessary, and avoid subtags they don't feel they need.

zh = some flavor of Chinese, writing system unspecified (or not written)
zh-Latn = Chinese written in any romanization
zh-(Latn-)pinyin = Chinese written in a "pinyin" romanization, could be
   Hanyu or Tongyong but definitely not Wade-Giles
zh-(Latn-)pinyin-hanyu = Chinese (almost certainly Mandarin) in Hanyu

The upcoming addition of language subtags for Mandarin, Cantonese, etc. 
will facilitate the identification of the "flavor of Chinese" in 
question, which may *in some cases* provide hints that obviate the need 
for multiple "pinyin" subtags.  For example, "(zh-)yue-(Latn-)pinyin" 
would technically be ambiguous as to whether the content is written in 
Hanyu Pinyin or Cantonese Pinyin, but in practice the latter could be 
assumed.  For Mandarin, this would not be as obvious, and the subtag 
'tongyong' would be a reasonable first addition in step 4.

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

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