Language Variant subtags for Sanskrit

Michael Everson everson at
Wed Jul 14 19:58:53 CEST 2010

On 14 Jul 2010, at 17:21, Doug Ewell wrote:

> Now, Elizabeth Pyatt argues that the word "classical" really does have essentially the same meaning for multiple, diverse languages.  If that
> is generally held to be true, *then* perhaps a generic 'classic' subtag would be appropriate.  In that case, the question might be whether
> 'classic' should be registered with no prefix, implying it is potentially relevant to all languages (which can never be proven), or whether we should start with a short list of prefixes (Elizabeth mentioned Sanskrit and Latin) and add more as evidence comes to light.

	• Classical Sumerian (literary language of Sumer, ca. 26th to 23rd c. BCE)
	• Middle Egyptian (literary language of Ancient Egypt from ca. the 20th century BCE to the 4th century CE)
	• Old Babylonian (The Akkadian language from ca 20th to 16th c. BCE, the imitated standard for later literary works)
	• Classical Hebrew (the language of the Tanakh, in particular of the prophetic books of ca. the 7th and 6th c. BCE)
	• Classical Chinese (based on the literary language of the Zhou Dynasty from ca. the 5th c. BCE)
	• Classical Greek (Attic dialect of the 5th c. BCE)
	• Classical Sanskrit (defined by Pāṇini's grammar, ca. 4th c. BCE) [3]
	• Classical Tamil (Sangam literature ca. 1st c. BCE to 4th c. CE, defined by Tolkāppiyam)[4]
	• Classical Latin (literary language of the 1st c. BCE)
	• Classical Mandaic (literary Aramaic of Mandaeism, 1st c. CE)
	• Classical Syriac (literary Aramaic of the Syriac church, 3rd to 5th c.)
	• Classical Armenian (oldest attested form of Armenian from the 5th c. and literary language until the 18th c.)
	• Middle Persian (court language of the Sassanid Empire, 3rd to 7th c.)
	• Classical Telugu (Dravidian language]
	• Classical Arabic (based on the language of the Qur'an, 7th c.)
	• Classical Kannada (language of the Rashtrakuta literature, 9th c.).[5]
	• New Persian (language of classical Persian literature, 9th to 17th c.)
	• Classical Japanese (language of Heian period literature, 10th to 12th c.)
	• Classical Icelandic (the language of the Icelandic sagas, 13th c.)
	• Classical Gaelic (language of the 13th to 18th c. Scottish Gaelic literature)
	• Early Modern English (language of KJV Bible and Shakespeare, 16th to 17th c.)
	• Classical Ottoman Turkish (language of poetry and administration of the Ottoman empire, 16th to 19th c.)
	• Classical Maya (the language of the mature Maya civilization, 3rd to 9th c.)
	• Classical Quechua (lingua franca of the 16th c. Inca Empire)
	• Classical Nahuatl (lingua franca of 16th c. central Mexico)
	• Classical K'iche' (language of 16th c. Guatemala)
	• Classical Tupi (language of 16th -18th c. Brazil)

> I don't have a problem with the other subtags, since I don't think words like "epic" and "Vedic" and "Buddhist" are used quite as commonly with
> reference to other languages.  I do feel that shoehorning subtag values into the minimum possible 5-character limit at the expense of human
> readability, simply to reduce the number of characters in an XML tag, is a false economy.  The difference between 5 and 8 isn't that great, even
> when multiplied by a lot of tags.

I agree with Doug's last point. I don't prefer "buddh" over "buddhist"

Epic or "Epics" seems weird though. 

Michael Everson *

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