Latvian extlang subtags

Doug Ewell doug at
Sat Jan 23 20:06:20 CET 2010

John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> wrote:

> Okay then.  In addition to the existing subtag 'lv', we will also have 
> the new subtags 'lvs' for Standard Latvian and 'ltg' for Latgalian. 
> This list has to decide, therefore, whether to allow 'lvs' and 'ltg' 
> as extlang subtags, thus permitting the tags "lv-lvs" and "lv-ltg".
> I belive these lv-* forms should be permitted, on the close analogy of 
> kok-*, sw-*, and uz-*.  For all of these, there are two languages in 
> the macrolanguage, one of which is dominant, and so people will 
> hesitate whether to use the long-established macrolanguage identifier 
> or the identifier for the dominant individual language.  The forms 
> ar-*, ms-*, and zh-* are very similar except that there are multiple 
> non-dominant languages.
> The only argument against is that we did not do so for et-*; however, 
> that was not a reasoned decision but a matter of bad timing.

I like this argument, as it is based on analogy with decisions we 
(including LTRU) have made in the past, and why they should or should 
not apply today.

In discussing this question, and the related question of Bontok (which 
was also converted to a macrolanguage), we should focus on this type of 
assessment and stay away from the debate over whether extlangs are good 
or evil.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list