Criteria for languages?

Mark Davis ☕ mark at
Tue Dec 1 18:54:10 CET 2009

I never got an answer as to the relevant difference between the Latvian case
and the Swiss German case that would cause one to be a macrolanguage, and
the other to be simply a split. Is this the key factor between them, that
MARC has been using lav for Latgalian, and it hasn't been using gsw for

This would be a criterion that at least would be understandable.


On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 09:02, Peter Constable <petercon at>wrote:

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:
> ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
> > My concern is with converting the existing "Latvian" to a macrolanguage,
> > which implies that the term "Latvian" sometimes refers just to Standard
> > Latvian and sometimes to both Standard Latvian and Latgalian.
> What you are describing is an issue of terminology and documentation: what
> do people mean when using the term "Latvian". But what we are in fact
> dealing with is a _coding_ issue: how has "lv" / "lav" been used in
> implementations, and what existing content is tagged "lv" / "lav"?
> There is clear evidence on the coding issue: MARC has used "lav" for
> Latgalian for some time.
> If the denotation of "lav" were changed to explicitly exclude Latgalian
> (which would be necessary if its scope is not set to macrolanguage), then an
> unknown number of librarians will have broken data. It would be
> irresponsible of the ISO 639-RA/JAC to do such a thing, IMO.
> Peter
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list