Last call: Latvian (and Bontok) extlang subtags

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Mon Feb 8 23:16:43 CET 2010




John Cowan cowan at 

Mon Feb 8 07:39:40 CET 2010 


{ from Doug

> . . . 


Doug Ewell doug at 
Mon Feb 8 14:39:43 CET 2010 


> Regarding the extlang question, my proposal is indeed to assign extlangs 

> when their macrolanguage meets the criterion I mentioned earlier -- 

> the macrolanguage subtag has been widely used to denote a single dominant language within the group -- 

> and not assign them when it does not. I wouldn't have used the word "ignore" but I suppose one could.


[lv] does indeed meet Doug's criteria here; these are not my criteria however since I do not see how these can work with matching of the assigned extended language subtags to the original tag used.


I note that none of the Latgalian content I found on the internet was tagged with [lv].

See: my cut-off post at: :


 "However, there are a number of internet sites in Latgalian according to the requester

(see :

" . . .

"I viewed the source of several of these sites but could not locate language tags (although I could see the character set) and my hunch is that simply Wikipedia rejected a request for a page in Latgalian since there was no existing language subtag and that that is why the subtag is being requested--so the content in Latgalian is not tagged yet; but would be tagged at the Wikipedia page if such were created (which would perhaps happen if there were a language subtag."


> Michael Everson scripsit:

>> Oh, I really don't think we should discriminate in that way. Latvians 

>> important, Bontocs not. No, no.

> No, no. "lv" a widely used tag, "bnc" not. Not the same thing at all.

> These two-part tags exist only for the sake of backward compatibility

> with what's already in use, and "bnc" is not (to speak of) in use.

My opinion is that while [lv] is widely used it is not really used to tag latgalian but only standard Latvian; someone fill me in on this.

Thus like Kent I say neither should get extended language status but for a different reason--because my criteria is that the original subtag has to have been widely used for several of the languages that the macro-language has been divided into. 


(But maybe my scheme does not work with matching either--my feeling was that in the Latgalian-Latvian split the new subtags could be used alone without a macro-language tag and no application would have any problem knowing which equated with the original subtag that has been 'split;' I was not here when rules/criteria were set regarding extended language status for subtags and I cannot comment on the intent of those; rfc 5646 seems to wax a bit ambiguous on this issue, agreed, something I missed when reading it, but fortunately this was pointed out by Doug and others!).


I really can't find any resources online in Bontoc; there may be a very few dictionaries (actually I found a book by Jenks with a word list online at Project Gutenberg:

The book itself is written in English!) 


Perhaps the change requestor ( Lawrence A. Reid, at the University of Hawai'i, Researcher Emeritus,

see )

can help enumerate the resources where Bontoc is used and how these are tagged.


According to Reid, 

"The literature that exists for the code element to be split, represents primarily Central

Bontok dialects. Benn 1987 uses Tinokokan, the dialect of Tocucan village, Lee (2006,

2007, 2008) use Finontok, the dialect of Bontoc town, and Reid (1976, 2009) uses Khininaang,

the dialect spoken in Guina-ang. All are Central Bontok dialects.

"Macabuhay and Goshnick's (1979) description of "Central Bontoc procedural discourse" is

based on a Sadanga (Northern Bontok) text. There is no other literature based on a

Northern Bontok dialect.

There is no literature in or dealing with the Southwestern Bontok dialects."


Alternatley, maybe someone not requesting the change who does work on Bontoc can give an opinion ( in a quick glance, I found: ; 

Matthew S. Dryer, Professor [dryer at] )


Sorry I could not help with this.



C. E. Whitehead

cewcathar at

> -- 

> John Cowan cowan at

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list