Valencian Language Tag registration request

Lang Gérard gerard.lang at
Fri Jun 19 16:55:34 CEST 2009

Dear John Cowan,

Some more informations:
1- "El castellano es la lingua espa~nola  oficial del Estado"   Spanish Constitution (1978) article 3.1
Sure, you eventually have to make some conventional choices between distinct autonyms considered to name the same language, but this case does not seem too frequent. And you can give the other autonym you did not conventionally choose as an equivalent, but it will not be the reference autonym as basis for representation and coding of the considered language.
For example, "United States" is certainly the most common way people living in the USA think of their country name, but this is not the correct one that is "United States of America", that furthermore conveys some useful geographical information, as wel as it also is the case that some other countries can have a "United States" part in their country name.
The same for "United Kingdom", (that gives "UK", only a reserved code element inside ISO 3166-1), when the correct country name is "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (that also conveys more useful geographical informations and gives the correct "GB")

2-Sure, the overwhelming majority of languages (in french "langue", that is "tongue", so certainly spoken languages) are spoken and not written languages.
That is why I considered in my point (iii) this case by taking phonetization (by the International Phonetic Alphabet [IPA]), further simplified of some diacritics, as one of the way to obtain a representation of the (only spoken) autonyms in a variant of the Latin alphabet that could be the basis for the choice of the code element representing this spoken autonym.

3-I do not see where is a mispelling of autonyms that have no direct written form in a variant of the Latin alphabet, but only translitterations or phonetizations that can certainly be eventually lightly altered as I proposed to do in the considered case. Anyway, the case that autonyms concerning two certainly distinct language names does not seem to be so frequent.

Bien cordialement.
Gérard LANG

-----Message d'origine-----
De : John Cowan [mailto:cowan at] 
Envoyé : vendredi 19 juin 2009 16:09
À : Lang Gérard
Cc : John Cowan; Marion Gunn; ietf-languages at; vmbenet at; ietf-languages-request at
Objet : Re: Valencian Language Tag registration request

Lang Gérard scripsit:

> (i)-the only veritable name of the considered language is the autonym 
> (original name inside ISO 639:1988; vernacular form inside ISO 
> 639-2:1998; indigenous form inside ISO 639-1:2002; and should be 
> reference name inside ISO 639-3: 2007), and this is the object that 
> should whose representation should be coded inside ISO 639.

Which is the autonym of Spanish, "castellano" or "español"?

> (ii)-in the case that this autonym can be written inside the 
> considered language by a variant of the Latin alphabet, the 
> representation should be this written language name (eventually 
> simplified by elimination of some diacritics) and the corresponding 
> code element should be built so as to have a "visual association" with this representation.

The overwhelming majority of languages are not written.

> (iv)-so that every coded language name should have only ONE original 
> language name, transformed into only ONE representation serving as 
> basis for the only ONE code element identifying the considered language name.

This again falls down on the fact that a pair of distinct languages may have by coincidence the same name.  You can deliberately misspell one of them in order to create an artificial difference, but that practice is inherently arbitrary.

All Gaul is divided into three parts: the part          John Cowan
that cooks with lard and goose fat, the part  
that cooks with olive oil, and the part that            cowan at
cooks with butter. --David Chessler

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