Adding variant subtags 'aluku' and 'nduyka' and 'pamaka' for dialects

Doug Ewell doug at
Thu Aug 20 15:26:28 CEST 2009

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

>> ... I guess I'm not sure what is different about 'aluku' and 
>> 'nduyka'.
> For language subtags, the Description values come from names recorded 
> in ISO 639: it's pretty clear in that case that the subtag is for a 
> single thing. For variants, there is no external source and 
> independent reference: the semantics of the subtag is determined 
> solely by what is in the LSTR record.

There is also the registration form posted at the IANA site.  That 
contains essentially all the information used by this list and the 
Reviewer in determining whether to register the variant.  If the form 
doesn't show the semantics of the subtag, at least to the extent we are 
talking about here, it is underspecified and should be reworked.

> So, I think there's more potential for misinterpretation of the intent 
> for variants than for language, region or script IDs.

I think this distinction is important and/or interesting to those of us 
on this list and LTRU, but I'm not sure the average user cares.  Here's 
a language subtag, 'en', and the Registry says it means "English." 
Great.  Here's a variant subtag, 'scouse', and the Registry says it 
means "English Liverpudlian dialect known as 'Scouse'."  Super.

Maybe I'm too close to the process, but if I looked in the Registry and 
it gave me two names for something, I would assume they were two 
different names for the same thing, like "Robert" and "Bobby," not two 
different things.  Our whole definition is that one subtag represents 
one thing.  That's what is interesting about Romanian/Moldovan: the 
acknowledgement by ISO 639 that they are one language, indicated by one 
code element (= one subtag.)

Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

> In order to make this a *helpful* comment, rather than a pleasant 
> abstraction of your thinking that we can sit back and enjoy, would 
> you, Peter, like to offer a proposed edit?

He did:  "It might be helpful to keep something to the effect of 'Aluku 
and Boni are alternate names' in the comment field."

I contend that that would be just as useful, nor more and no less, as 

Type: language
Subtag: nl
Description: Dutch
Description: Flemish
Added: 2005-10-16
Suppress-Script: Latn
Comments: Dutch and Flemish are alternate names

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

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