Criteria for languages?

Peter Constable petercon at
Fri Dec 4 17:41:14 CET 2009

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Davis ?

> A strict approach would be that if Latgalian is indeed a different 
> language from (mutually incomprehensible with) Latvian, then it 
> was incorrect to tag any Latgalian with "lav", and we just encode 
> a new language and move on. Same for Walliserdeutsch.

That sounds entirely reasonable. It also sounded reasonable that Unicode should not encode any precomposed characters but rather use a dynamic-composition model. In both cases, legacy practice realistically keeps us from doing all the things that seem most reasonable. A major industry body has clearly been using "lav" for Latgalian (albeit this appears to have started only in the past 6 years); I'm not aware of indicators of any, let alone reasonably-widespread, use of either "de" or "gsw" for Walliserdeutsch, and so if Walliserdeutsch is deemed a separate language then I wouldn't saddle de or gsw with the hassles of a macrolanguage.


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