Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Jun 10 19:57:22 CEST 2010

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell

>> 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.

Normally, yes, though there are existing exceptions in ISO 639. But in particular...

> 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"...

Any decision taken in this case should not be seen as setting precedent in relation to any other language-variety cluster.

> 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 'sr'/'srp'.

Take that as a given. 

Now, any comments on the questions raised?

> 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.

Yes, please let's not rat-hole on this either. 


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