Variant subtag proposal: Høgnorsk variety of Norwegian

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Fri Jan 1 22:57:57 CET 2010

Den 2010-01-01 22.26, skrev "Thorgeir Holm" <thorgeirholm at>:

> <hermer Michael Everson frå 01.01.2010 21:50>
>>> The macro 'no' is simply a political creation, and people fill it
>>> with whatever ideas they have about this concept.
>>> It is vital that 'no-hognorsk' be valid, the practical
>>> circumstances in Norwegian language tagging being as chaotic as
>>> they are.
>> Vital?
> Of course: if 'no' is valid for 'nb' and 'nn', for whatever reasons
> people might have to tag them thus (and they do), the same should apply
> to -hognorsk.

If the tagger knows that the text is in Høgnorsk, then the tagger also
knows that it is nynorsk, not bokmål. There is no reason to ever use

>> We have nb and nn. You want to be able to tag a particular kind of nn.
>> Linguistically, that is what I think the tag hognorsk should attach to.
> Of course, there is no doubt about it. But the tag 'no' is not
> linguistically based, it is political (se the top of this post, from my
> previous post). So whereas 'nn-hognorsk' is the correct linguistic tag,
> 'no-hognorsk' should be a valid "political" tag as long as the political
> tag 'no' is around.

No. See above.

>> As I said, gem-hognorsk is just as valid as no-hognorsk might be, but
>> neither seems to me to be necessary.
> They are not necessary, but they exist and are in use (as far as the
> 'no' tag concerns). 'no' is also not necessary, in my opinion, but if it
> is available, other related tags should reflect this.

The only use for the collection codes and "und" in language tagging is
to mark "partial knowledge". Basically, macrolanguages fall in that category
too. Again, if you know a document (or a part of a document) is in Høgnorsk,
then you also know that it is in Nynorsk.

> Anyway, the point is: the existing 'no' macro doesn't fit into the
> normative system which is used to say that only 'nn-hognorsk' should be
> stated. 'no' is a political heritage, and so one should either rectify
> its status, or allow variant subtags to use 'no' as well.

Please refrain from using the word "macro" when you mean "macrolanguage
code/subtag". We have no macros do deal with. And there are no
macrolanguages, only macrolanguage codes/(primary) subtags (and possibly
names). "Macrolanguage" is not a linguistic term; it was introduced by
ISO 639-3 in order to deal with certain language *coding* issues.
(Personally, I think it probably would have better to just classify them
as collection codes; a preexisting class of codes.)

But disregarding that, I find your reasoning here nonsensical. You are
right that "no" is heritage (but an ISO 639 coding mistake heritage),
but that in no way implies that "no-hognorsk" should in any way be
recommended. "nn-hognorsk" does just fine, only one prefix to worry about
for "hognorsk". (Well, "nn-NO-hognorsk", "nn-Latn-CN-hognorsk", etc. would
also not be formally disrecommended, but that is beside my point.)

    /kent k

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list