CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Fri Jun 11 19:29:01 CEST 2010

Hi, I tend to favor a separate code for Montenegrin to be parallel with other languages -- but the authority rests with the ISO 639 authorities.

According to,

"Montenegrins speak and write Montenegrin. It is sociolinguistically, ethnically, and culturally a separate language. For example, the Montenegrin language has 33 letters while Serbian and Croatian each have 30. "


As for the tagging/filtering issue, I do not think content currently online is identified by country/region code although that would be one way to identify this content.


Is the following site in Montenegrin? --

If so I would note that the language code being used here is not sr but hr
with no country or script code although the script is obviously Latin.


There are no language tags for any of the content in any language at the following URL:
(I'd love it if someone would help identify whether the content identified above is Montenegrin.)

Nor at the following -- which I would guess to be in Montenegrin:

So my guess is that much content is untagged but I do not know.


I suppose that hr-Latn-ME
and hr-Latn-ME
might both be used for Montenegrin (however, it seems that many current tags do not include either script or country code subtags). 

Thus, for determining what lookup or fallback tag options should be, can statistical analysis decide this?

Mark Davis mark at 
Thu Jun 10 21:01:10 CEST 2010 
> The separation of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian in the base language code
> instead of using regions or variants to distinguish them already causes
> problems. Thus we have had to develop mechanisms to deal with that. Adding
> one more to the mix adds some incremental cost, but probably not huge.

This is good to know.

> The following comment is, however, extremely worrisome:

>> But, in the case that we should agree that Montenegrin and Serbian are
>> linguistically equivalent, then we would also be obliged to recognize that
>> Bosniac and Serbian are linguistically equivalent. And so, we would be
>> obliged to conclude that Bosniac and Montenegrin MUST be treated on an equal
>> footing.

Hopefully we can treat Montenegrin, along with Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, as exceptions to the rule that language codes are only provided in cases of mutual incomprehensibility -- Montenegrin seems to meet other criteria (it has a community of use who identify it as their language; it has official status it seems -- by a majority vote; it has a literature

However there is also a pan-Serbian movement it seems.  Is this going to be an issue?


> There are a few unfortunate cases in ISO 639 that break the principle that
> separate codes are only supplied in cases of mutual incomprehensibility.
> Saying those few exceptions establish a precedent, and that we must to allow
> EVERY case of different dialects or orthographic variant to get separate
> base language codes would be a complete disaster. Separating "American" from
> "British" English, Brazilian from Portuguese, &c. in the base language code
> would cause innumerable implementation and compatibility problems.



Hope some of my info helps in any case.



C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at 
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