Adding variant subtags 'aluku' and 'nduyka' and 'pamaka' fordialects

Peter Constable petercon at
Fri Aug 21 14:36:09 CEST 2009

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Michael Everson

> If they Aluku is not a variety of Ndyuka, then it seems to me that it is more appropriate 
> to ask for an ISO 639-3 tag.

Only if Aluku and Ndyuka are considered distinct languages. But Pascal has explicitly indicated otherwise:

On 21 Aug 2009, at 10:35, Pascal Vaillant wrote:

> At present, we need the three tags for digital corpora, and we feel 
> (after due discussion with colleagues who are specialists of the said 
> dialects), that the situation is best solved by adding three variant 
> subtags in the IANA registry, rather than by trying to register Aluku 
> and Pamaka as separate language entries in ISO-639-3. As a matter of 
> fact, the degree of similarity/divergence is best described at the 
> language/dialect level than at the metalanguage/language level 
> (judging by comparisons with other attested examples). So we can put 
> up with the slight, temporary, inaccuracy of saying that "Aluku [resp. 
> Ndyuka] is a dialect of Busi Nenge Tongo [djk]", when a lookup in 
> ISO-639-3 at the present time yields "djk = Aukan/Nduka", but it is 
> not a good solution to the problem to say that "Aluku is a dialect of 
> Ndyuka". By the way, this would lead us to state, symmetrically, that 
> "Ndyuka is a dialect of Ndyuka".

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