Criteria for languages?

Peter Constable petercon at
Wed Dec 2 01:09:21 CET 2009

This is not at all a one-off case in MARC; I'd characterize the approach taken by librarians as one of putting things into any existing bucket that might have a reasonable connection. That is a major reason why ISO 639-3 introduced the notion of macrolanguage in the first place.


-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Randy Presuhn
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 4:02 PM
To: ietf-languages at
Subject: Re: Criteria for languages?

Hi -

> From: "Peter Constable" <petercon at>
> To: "Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn at>; 
> <ietf-languages at>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 3:45 PM
> Subject: RE: Criteria for languages?
> > I wonder whether treating Latgalian as a "marked form" (and making 
> > it a variant of Latvian) would make sense.  Any thoughts from people 
> > who speak either of them?
> Essentially, that is the status-quo position. The RA, evidently, is 
> processing requests from users who feel this is not

Does anyone know why the MARC people decided that a single code would suffice for both languages?  Is there no need to distinguish them for bibliographic purposes??
If the MARC folk somehow got it wrong (for purposes of language identification), we should not be bound by that mistake.


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