Variant subtag proposal: Høgnorsk variety of Norwegian

Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Fri Jan 1 21:29:34 CET 2010

(Resending. Seems I should have used @alvesterand instead of

Doug Ewell, Fri, 1 Jan 2010 12:18:55 -0700:
> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> If we limit 'hognorsk' to 'nn', then we support the tendency to 
>> align 'no' as a synonym of 'nb' and vice versa. 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.
> I was doing just fine with your line of reasoning, until you brought 
> in the activist component.  Language subtags are not assigned to 
> promote political or linguistic reform or other social causes, though 
> we are aware that some people may request subtags on those grounds.

It takes activism to argue that people should stop using 'no', as well 

The activist component here is activism for the macrolanguage meaning 
of 'no'. It is a  reality that we have a macrolanguage situation. In 
the LTRU group I defended likewise that the tag for Chinese is possible 
to use for any Chinese language. As a professor of Nynorsk as a 
language of literature has said - he is from England but "professoring" 
in Norway [sited from the mind]: "If you want to learn Norwegian, then 
you should learn Bokmål and Nynorsk - that is the Norwegian language." 
This is more or less the official - you could say "political correct" 
as well - language policy of the Norwegian state. The official 

Previously, I don't know if it was in the LTRU group or one of the i18n 
mailinglists of, someone recommended that one should use 'no' as 
little as possible, and instead use 'nn' and 'nb'. I agree with this. 
That would solve many problems. But there are legitimate practical 
reasons for using 'no' - regardless of which variant of Norwegian 
(including subvariants such as Høgnorsk) one uses. Of course, there are 
also activist reasons for using 'no' - whether you use 'no' about 
Nynorsk or Bokmål. And I don't see any official recommendation anywhere 
to stop using 'no'. (But of course, the minority often becomes the 

The kind of activism I talk about is when I want to present my language 
to the broadest possible audience, then I would like to use a _broad 
enough_ tag. What is broad enough depends on the context.

>> 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.
> We will not assign any subtags unless they represent legitimate 
> language variations.  That is how the proposal for 'hognorsk' is 
> being evaluated. If a proposal for 'riksmal' comes along, that is how 
> it will be evaluated.

Well, Høgnorsk is a variant of of Norwegian/Nynorsk, there is no doubt 
about that.

I consider macrolanguage tags as tags which cover situations where 
non-linguistic issues plays a role so that the language name covers 
broader than usual. I had assumed that you would more or less 
automatically accept that any variant that can be 'nn' would also be 
legitimate to apply directly on the "mother tag", the the macrolanguage 
leif halvard silli 

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