Simultaneous creation of extlang subtags

Doug Ewell doug at
Thu Dec 17 15:28:25 CET 2009

A few weeks ago it was suggested that Section 3.4, item 12.C.2 would 
prevent a newly created macrolanguage from having any of its encompassed 
languages made into extended language subtags in BCP 47, because they 
would have to be assigned in some kind of sequence and the first one 
assigned would be blocked by the others:

"'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 

The following quote from the RFC Editor's instructions to authors was 
posted yesterday on the IETF list.  While not pertaining to language 
subtags, I think it sets a reasonable example for handling objects that 
are meant to be assigned in a parallel manner:

"A standards-track RFC cannot be published until all of the documents 
that it lists as normative references have been published.  In practice, 
this often results in the simultaneous publication of a group of 
interrelated RFCs."

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

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