Language Variant subtags for Sanskrit

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Jul 14 22:38:52 CEST 2010

On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:35 PM, Michael Everson <everson at> wrote:
> On 14 Jul 2010, at 17:44, Peter Constable wrote:
>> IMO, "classical" absolutely should NOT be coded as a variant subtag.
> Why not?

For one thing, the adjective "Classical" may signify a distinct
language with its own language code, as in the existing cases of
Classical Mongolian, Mandaic, Nahuatl, Newari, Quechua, Syriac,
Armenian, and Tibetan.  We want people to code Classical Tibetan
properly as "xct", not as "bo-classic".  This is very different from
Classical Latin or Classical Greek, which truly are just variants of
Latin ("la") and Ancient Greek ("grc") respectively.

So introducing "classic" as a generic or multi-specific variant subtag
would be productive of nothing but confusion.

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