Language Variant subtags for Sanskrit

Peter Scharf peter_scharf at
Tue Jul 13 20:43:30 CEST 2010

Dear all,
Standards use two letter tags for languages, e.g. "sa" for Sanskrit,  
and four letter tags for Scripts, e.g. "Latn", "Deva".  So five for  
variants seems plenty long already to me.  Remember that these tags  
will be used in numerous the xml:lang attributes of TEI elements and  
length gets cumbersome.  I don't see any reason for spelling  
"buddhist" and "classical" out.  "buddh" and "class" are plenty obvious.


Peter M. Scharf                           (401) 863-2720 office
Department of Classics             (401) 863-2123 dept.
Brown University
PO Box 1856                               (401) 863-7484 fax
Providence, RI 02912                Scharf at

On 13 Jul. 2010, at 1:52 PM, Phillips, Addison wrote:

>>> Most of the requests seem straightforward. Are we only talking
>> about the subtag for "classical"? Using a native term to obfuscate
>> "classical" would possibly be a good solution for that one subtag.
>> There is no reason why a native term is required for the others.
>> I have asked Peter to supply the Sanskrit terms for all four. I'm
>> not minded to make a decision until that is provided.
> You will need to make a decision shortly because BCP 47 requires a  
> response at the end of the two week review period. You might extend  
> the review period by two weeks, lacking consensus to register the  
> subtags "as is". But there is no requirement that Peter provide what  
> you have asked for and I, for one, don't agree that it would make  
> sense to use native terms for the other subtags. I'm only a slightly  
> leery of a generic-sounding subtag for Classical Sanskrit, but not  
> of the registration in general. I rather think that native terms  
> transliterated into Latin script are going to be more obscure than  
> is needed.
> Addison

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