Variant subtag proposal: Høgnorsk variety of Norwegian

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Fri Jan 1 20:35:54 CET 2010

Kent Karlsson, Fri, 01 Jan 2010 18:57:37 +0100:
> Den 2010-01-01 18.12, skrev "Leif Halvard Silli":
>> As another Høgnorsk adherer, I would like to ask that _both_ 'nn' and
>> 'no' are registered as desired prefixes. I cannot understand how
>> anything else is possible. Both 'nn' and 'no' are equally good for
>> Norwegian Nynorsk. Thus, considering that 'hognorsk' represents a
>> subclass of Nynorsk, both 'nn' and 'no' should be permitted as its
>> prefix. 
>> 'nn' is more precise, but so is 'nb' - for Norwegian Bokmål. If we
>> limit 'hognorsk' to 'nn', then we support the tendency to align 'no' as
>> a synonym of 'nb' and vice versa.
> Not at all.

By allowing 'hognorsk' after 'no', we emphasize that 'no' is a 
macrolanguage subtag suitable for any form of Norwegian. 
>> Such an idea is opposed to the
>> aspiration of Nynorsk to be the Norwegian language. And this aspiration
>> is not less strong in the Høgnorsk variant of Nynorsk than in the
>> official variant of Nynorsk, on the contrary.
> If Nynorsk becomes the only official language of Norway (in some future)
> then documents in then-official Norwegian should be language tagged as "nn".

I don't understand why you say so.

'Nynorsk' is a label that means 'New Norwegian', and although it has 
lost some of its original meaning, it 'New Norwegian' was meant to mean 
'Modern Norwegian'. It was meant to be a a more positive/progressive 
term than the dead sounding 'Book Language' - 'Bokmål'. ('Bokmål was 
chosen by the Norwegain parliament - in a very close vote - instead of 
the even more controversial Dano-Norwegian [Dansk-Norsk] - more 
controversial when we consider that many of the supporters of the 
Bokmål direction used the name Riksmål 

If Bokmål were to disappear and only became of historical interest, 
then there is no doubt that we we would stopped using 'Nynorsk' about 
Nynorsk - we would instead say just 'Norwegian.' We could then 
grandfather 'nn' - or something like that and only use 'no'.

Norwegian is different from Serbo-Croatian. Or - Serbo-Croatian has 
some similarity to Nynorsk, actually. Serbo-Croatian was a language 
that [I believe] was supposed to cover both Serbian and Croatian 
dialects. Nynorsk as well, was conceived as a "Country language/Nation 
language" which took up into itself aspects of - in principle - all 
Norwegian dialects (but not the city-based Dano-Norwegian/Bokmål - most 
Norwegians lived outside cities then).

Anyway: Serbo-Croatian has been split into at least tree variants: 
Bosnian, Serbian, Croat. This is a linguistic - more or less - split, 
from a previous linguistic unity. Whereas the split we have in Norway, 
is a political split - just as it is also for political reasons that 
there as several languages that can be labeled Chinese.

In the hypothetical situation that Croat became the language of Serbia, 
then it would probably not be with the label "Croat" any more than the 
Bookmål supporters wanted to call their language Dano-Norwegian. (We 
could propose 'Book Language' as a compromise ...)

But, it is just hypothetical to talk about what would happen if. The 
fact, now, is that in Norway we are bound to live with our 
macrolanguage situation. We are not like Jugoslavia, were they have 
dissolved their macrolanguage situation.

> IIRC there has been a long-standing


>> Høgnorsk is just as much
>> a subclass of Norwegian as of Nynorsk.
> And Norwegian is a subclass of Germanic languages which is a subclass
> of Indo-European languages...

I spoke about the macrolanguage situation, only. 
>> This goes back to my viewpoints
>> about Macrolanguages in general in the LTRU mailing list.
> Macrolanguage codes are just administrative expedience, catering for
> preexisiting codes in ISO 639-2. If language coding/tagging had
> started with what is now ISO 639-3, I would guess there would be no
> macrolanguage codes at all.

I don't know if everyone agree with this. I believe macrolanguage tags 
have a practical role to play. I believe the phrase macrolanguage 
describes a reality that needs a subtag.

>> Hence, both as a Høgnorsk adherer and in general, I find it difficult
>> to support this registration unless both 'no' and 'nn' are recorded as
>> desired prefixes.
> I'm still opposed to registering "hognorsk" for "higher groupings" (like
> 'no'), as I said before.

A pointer to that message would be welcome.

> It should be formally registered only with
> 'nn' as prefix. As I noted before, this does not make "no-hognorsk",
> or even "fi-hognorsk" or "und-hognorsk", ill-formed, just disrecommended.
> However, I don't think it would be wise to use any of these.

There are practical scenarios where 'no-hognorsk' would be preferred - 
just as there are some scenarios where 'no' is preferred for Nynorsk: 
It seems that some Web browsers (in certain OS combinations at least) 
supports 'no' better than 'nn', in language negotiation scenarios. The 
same goes for some OS-es: Mac OS X uses 'no' for Bokmål, and also 
displays it as Bokmål. I have translated an Web browser to Nynorsk and 
I used to 'no' for Norwegian because a) there is no Bokmål translation, 
b) there is no support for 'nn' in older versions of Mac OS X. Thus I, 
for compatibility reasons (even in Mac OS X 10.5, not all potential 
users have enabled Nynorsk), and because I consider it a bug to display 
the 'no' choice as as 'Bokmål'  to users, use 'no' for my Nynorsk 
localization. The same considerations are valid for the Høgnorsk 
variant of Nynorsk.

>> Further more: When 'hogorsk' becomes a tag, then it would not surprise
>> me if the conservative Bokmål adherants - the socalled Riksmål group -
>> would be interested in registering - let's say 'riksmal' as a variant
>> tag. And I have little doubt in my mind that they would like to see
>> both 'no' and 'nb' as desired prefixes.
> (Reading "(variant) subtag" for "tag".) I would be opposed to that too.
> For that (possible) case, only "nb" should be formally registered as prefix.

I am happy to see that you are consequent. But I still disagree.
leif halvard silli

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