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

Doug Ewell doug at
Sun Aug 23 21:18:34 CEST 2009

Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

>> The ISO 639-3 change cycle happens only once a year, takes 
>> approximately five months, and the deadline for 2009 changes is 
>> nearly on us.
> Really? Why? We sometimes do a very quick turn-around in the ISO 15924 
> JAC.

One, it's their policy to have a lengthy and regular review cycle, and 
two, they have 7,678 coded entities to deal with, not 136.

> I would like to avoid having to process change forms for these three 
> subtags again later. Isn't that reasonable?

I'm not sure why we would have to change anything about the registration 
forms for the variants if the ISO 639-3 name for the base language is 
changed.  I've thought all along that "Prefix: djk" should be sufficient 
to identify the language to which the variant applies, and that neither 
the Description nor Comments fields absolutely needs to duplicate this 

    Language subtag: sl, "Slovenian"

    Variant subtag: nedis, "Natisone dialect"
    [of Slovenian, as implied by the Prefix field]

In fact, almost all of our registered variants do reiterate the base 
language in the description: "Traditional *German* orthography," "The 
Gniva dialect *of Resian*," "*Belarusian* in Taraskievica orthography," 
etc.  That's not an awful lot of redundancy, but I don't see why we need 
to agonize over the exact wording of the base language in either the 
description or the comment, when it's already identified in the 
prefix -- certainly not to the point where it holds up registration of 
the three variants.

As far as I can tell, Pascal originally proposed these as dialects of 
"the Busi Nenge Tongo Creole," and all was well until we started trying 
too hard to link this descriptive name to the ISO-based name of the 
language.  If the language called "Aukan" by ISO 639 is also known as 
"the Busi Nenge Tongo Creole," great, but how does that invalidate the 
dialect proposals?

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

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