Lower Saxon as a group

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Tue Feb 24 14:34:39 CET 2009

Gerard Meijssen <GerardM at wiktionaryz dot org> wrote:

> In Ethnologue the Dutch variations of "Low Saxon" have been split into 
> separate languages while the German entities are left as dialects. The 
> WMF Low Saxon community wants to start a Wikisource that will be 
> inclusive of both German and Dutch Low Saxon texts. In my 
> appreciation, we need an overarching group for the whole of Low Saxon. 
> Now as we are supporting groups in ISO-639-5, it seems reasonable to 
> ask for this,

I see at least four possibilities:

1. There is no ISO 639-5 code element finer-grained than 'gmw' for "West 
Germanic languages" to meet your needs.  Use it, either now or after the 
Registry is revised to include it, with the understanding that for your 
purposes it covers only a subset of the West Germanic languages.

2. Request a new code element from the ISO 639-5/RA.

3. Attempt to register a language subtag here to represent the Low Saxon 
group.  This requires that you go through (2) first, and it could be 
problematic, because not only have we never registered a language subtag 
(and have a fairly strong aversion to doing so), but I'm not sure RFC 
4646 allows for a language subtag to be registered for a group.

4. Use a private-use tag such as "x-lowsaxon".

Any of these options is better than using a tag that looks official, but 
was invented outside this process, which several of the Wikipedias are 
still doing.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages  ˆ

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