Criteria for languages?
doug at ewellic.org
Thu Dec 3 05:44:20 CET 2009
John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> wrote:
> We have our first problem of constitutional interpretation under our
> fourth Constitution. (We are not the Fourth Republic, because we are
> a monarchy, and a monarchy under a single dynasty -- nay, a single
>> 2. 'Extlang' records SHOULD NOT be created for languages if other
>> languages encompassed by the macrolanguage do not also include
>> 'extlang' records.
> I interpret the main clause in this sentence as applying if there are
> as yet no other co-encompassed languages; you and Addison interpret it
> as not applying in that case. Consulting my local Talmudist produced
> a definite maybe.
This looks straightforward to me:
"1. If a language has a macrolanguage mapping, and that macrolanguage
has other encompassed languages that are assigned extended language
subtags, then the new language SHOULD have an 'extlang' record assigned
to it as well. For example, any language with a macrolanguage of 'zh'
or 'ar' would be assigned an 'extlang' record."
This rule does not apply to 'lv', since it has no encompassed languages.
"2. 'Extlang' records SHOULD NOT be created for languages if other
languages encompassed by the macrolanguage do not also include 'extlang'
records. For example, if a new Serbo-Croatian ('sh') language were
registered, it would not get an extlang record because other languages
encompassed, such as Serbian ('sr'), do not include one in the
This rule also does not apply to 'lv', since there are no other
languages encompassed by the macrolanguage (since it was not, until now,
Since neither rule 1 nor rule 2 applies to a newly designated
macrolanguage and its newly created encompassed languages, it is
completely up to the Reviewer, with the usual help of this list, whether
to admit the proposed 'ltg' and 'lvs' as extlangs. The criterion should
be as described in RFC 5645, Section 2.2: the macrolanguage 'lv' should
be "determined... to have been used to represent a single dominant
language as well as the macrolanguage as a whole, making the extended
language mechanism suitable for languages encompassed by the
As Addison points out, either (a) 'ltg' and 'lvs' both get extlangs, or
(b) neither one does.
Of course, all of this presumes ISO 639-3/RA takes the requested actions
on Latvian, and the same decision process (possibly with different
results) applies to the new Lithuanian subtags as well if those are
> What is (or rather, will be, if the RA acts) an issue for us is
> "Should lvs and lgt be registered as extlangs as well as individual
> languages?" And logically prior to that issue is the issue at hand,
> namely "Do we have the power to do so without overriding an RFC 5646
> SHOULD NOT?"
I don't see it this way at all.
Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | http://www.ewellic.org
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | ietf-languages @ http://is.gd/2kf0s
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