Title of ISO 639-5 (was: Re: Ietf-languages Digest, Vol 74, Issue 1)

Lang Gérard gerard.lang at insee.fr
Mon Feb 23 10:02:42 CET 2009

This question should typically be adressed to the common methodological part of ISO 639, that is ISO 639-4 , whose ISO/DIS 639-4.2 (General principles of coding of the representation of names of languages and related entities, and application guidelines). But the timeline for the vote vote of  ISO/TC 37 members ended on 2009-01-21.
AFNOR, that is the french ISO member gave a negative vote for this draft.
-----Message d'origine-----
De : ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no] De la part de Doug Ewell
Envoyé : dimanche 22 février 2009 19:44
À : ietf-languages at iana.org
Objet : Re: Title of ISO 639-5 (was: Re: Ietf-languages Digest, Vol 74,Issue 1)

Anthony Aristar <aristar at linguistlist dot org> wrote:

> The official term for 639-5 is, after all: "Codes for the 
> Representation of Names of Languages. Part 5: Alpha-3 code for 
> language families and groups"  If what John says is true -- and I am 
> quite willing to believe it is -- then this title is not merely 
> misleading, but erroneous.  This is not, it seems, what these codes 
> are actually doing.

It's well known that linguists and other experts disagree, sometimes forcefully, as to the correct ways to classify languages.  But I think it is a stretch to say that ISO 639-5 does not in fact encode "language families and groups," even if the families and groups may be considered kind of a mish-mash.

ISO 639-5 defines the terms "language family" and "language group" and does not make any claim that these definitions, or its classification system, are the only ones possible.


Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14 http://www.ewellic.org http://www1.ietf.org/html.charters/ltru-charter.html
http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages  ^ 

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