Doug Ewell doug at
Thu Jun 10 19:11:56 CEST 2010

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

> In raising this, I'd ask people not to rat-hole on how different Serbian and Montenegrin are linguistically: there's enough evidence that they can appropriate be considered a single language in terms of linguistic criteria, and so that would have no bearing whatsoever in possible JAC action.

I would have thought the linguistic question would be fundamental to the
question of assigning a separate code element.  Coding "Serbian" and
"Montenegrin" separately on linguistic criteria would be tantamount to
coding the languages of these three "English" sentences separately:

"I have no money."
"I don't have any money."
"I ain't got no money."

If the issue is the name of the language as reported by speakers in
different nations, then if "Montenegrin" is assigned a separate code
element, there is no justification for continuing to unify "Spanish"
with "Castilian," or "Dutch" with "Flemish."  So I agree with the body
of John's "if" statement, that the JAC (or failing that, this list)
should simply add "Montenegrin" as an alternative description for

The argument that ISO 639 encodes "the names of languages" has been
raised before, but never seems to hold up when taking Spanish/Castilian,
Catalan/Valencian, Dutch/Flemish, etc. into account.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA |
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | ietf-languages @ is dot gd slash 2kf0s ­

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