Criteria for languages?

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at
Fri Dec 11 11:24:26 CET 2009

I want to comment on the nds issue. As it is, nds is spoken in both the
Netherlands and in Germany. From a language coding point of view these
things are handled significantly different. The Dutch nds has been split in
several individual language while the German nds has not. Obviously, as the
territory in Germany where nds is spoken is much larger, the variability of
the language is at least as big as it is in the Netherlands. For me it is
therefore not at all a surprise when people want to carve up nds in Germany
as well.

2009/12/3 John Cowan <cowan at>

> Doug Ewell scripsit:
> > This rule also does not apply to 'lv', since there are no other
> > languages encompassed by the macrolanguage (since it was not, until now,
> > a macrolanguage).
> 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.
> > As Addison points out, either (a) 'ltg' and 'lvs' both get extlangs, or
> > (b) neither one does.
> 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 SHOULD NOT.
> > 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
> > approved.
> Indeed.  In addition to Latvian and Lithuanian, the following individual
> languages are being proposed for change to macrolanguage scope, some
> with renaming:
> Blang 'blr': rename to Plang, encompass 3 new individual languages,
> with a strong probability that this list will grow.
> Central Bontoc 'bnc': rename to Bontok, encompass 5 new individual
> languages including Central Bontok (narrowly defined).
> Low German 'nds': encompass 10 existing and 1 new individual language.
> (This one is very sparse on evidence, and my personal suspicion is that it
> won't fly without much more support.)
> --
> John Cowan  cowan at<>
> Big as a house, much bigger than a house, it looked to [Sam], a grey-clad
> moving hill.  Fear and wonder, maybe, enlarged him in the hobbit's eyes,
> but the Mumak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him
> does not walk now in Middle-earth; his kin that live still in latter days
> are
> but memories of his girth and his majesty.  --"Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
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