Criteria for languages?

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Dec 4 06:42:37 CET 2009

John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> wrote:

> It doesn't now, but if the change passes, it will.  Then we cannot 
> create an extlang tag for lvs, because ltg does not have one, and we 
> cannot create an extlang tag for ltg, because lvs does not have one. 
> You may not like this reading of 12.C.2, but it is a possible reading.

We shouldn't have to do this sort of exegesis, like constitutional 
scholars arguing about what the Founders meant in the Fourth Amendment. 
We *are* the Founders, at least you and I and others who participated in 
LTRU, and we should be able to figure out what we meant.

If we, LTRU, really wanted to say that extlangs MUST NOT or even SHOULD 
NOT ever be created for new macrolanguages, wouldn't we have come right 
out and said so?  We have wording like that in other parts of the RFC, 
such as in Section 3.6, where we all but tell people not to bother 
trying to register a primary language subtag.

I'm not saying we necessarily have to make extlangs out of the Standard 
Latvian and Latgalian code elements, or any others, but I do strongly 
believe that we should not dismiss the possibility out of hand because 
of one possible way that an outsider could read 12.C.2.

> I agree with that, and I agree that we have the power to give them 
> extlangs, but only if we meet the RFC 2119 rules for overriding a 

See my previous e-mail on this; it is presumptive IMHO to claim that the 
SHOULD NOT applies.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­

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