Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Mon Jun 14 23:04:01 CEST 2010

Milos Rancic, Mon, 14 Jun 2010 09:20:42 +0200:
> On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 17:12, CE Whitehead wrote:
>> an alternate name for Serbian and the tag sr-ME -- as suggested --
>> would be o.k. for me too.
> Formally, this can work, as "Serbian written according to standards of
> Montenegro" doesn't exist. Actually, to be strict, it exists, but
> there are just *three* different words (I remember two words of thre:
> "sjutra" instead of "sutra" [=tomorrow] and "medjed" instead of
> "medvjed" [=bear]) from the standard Serbian Iyekavian; but three
> words don't create a separate standard.

Much about Serbian here ... But, at least, in the following paragraph 
you provide some information about Montenegrin:

> This is opposite to
> Montenegrin standard, which has three different phonemes and probably
> hundreds of differently spelled and pronounced words.

Hundreds of words are also not many. 

On Saturday, you made a case for how different Montenegrin is:

> Milos Rancic, Sat, 12 Jun 2010 20:10:21 +0200:
>> Contrary, about relation of Montenegrin and Serbian, it is not about
>> dialects, it is about standard languages. Standard Montenegrin, as
>> defined during 2009 has three distinctive phonemes. And it is more
>> distant linguistically from Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian than they
>> are between themselves.

According to some, however, those phonemes are just allophones.

Looking at the Wikipedia text about the Montenegrin alphabet, they 
indeed comes across as allophones.

According to the first article, «The official web page of the President 
of Montenegro states that it is provided in "Montenegrin–Serbian 
version" (Crnogorsko-srpska verzija).»

Thus, I get the impression that the President of Montenegro refers to 
Montenegrin as Montenegrin-Serbian. Which is an argument for 
identifying the it as a variant of Serbian.

Another Wikipedia article discusses the Zeta-South Sandžak diealect, 
which is a dialect of the eastern half of Montenegro (including the 
capital) and concludes: "Currently the Montenegrin language is 
undergoing a standardization process which will be somewhat based on 
the Zeta subdialect."

To the extent that is is based on a Montenegrin specific dialect, then 
I can understand the claim that Montenegrin is more different from 
Serbian/Croat/Bosnian than Serbian/Croat/Bosnian differ between them. 
May be an argument for a separate primary language subtag for 

Regarding the argument for a separate code versus simply using 'sr-ME', 
you said:

Milos Rancic, Mon, 14 Jun 2010 09:20:42 +0200:
> But, it would be much better to have a separate code.

Why would it be much better? 

And why not have a variant subtag, so that one could write something 
like "sr-montenegrin" or "sr-crnogorsko"?

Another place you said this - although you qualified it with a 
Milos Rancic, Sat, 12 Jun 2010 20:10:21 +0200:
> Marking some text as sr_BA or sr_ME is usually a nonsense as there are
> not different written varieties of standard Serbian for Serbia, Bosnia
> and Montenegro.

You also said about "sr-ME" that «Formally, this can work». And, if it 
is nonsense to use 'sr-ME' about about "Standard Serbian as used in 
Montenegro" (since there are only 3 distinguishing words), then it 
*does* seems possible to use 'sr-ME' about "Montenegrin". 

But from another angle, it seems to me that this could lead to problems 
with regard to localization. E.g. if Mozilla wants to provide both a 
Montenegrin variant of Firefox as well as a Serbian variant  of Firefox 
for their users living in Montenegro. (Wikipedia says that 63.49% 
"speak the Serbian language of the Iyekavian dialect", while 43% 
identify them as Montenegrins.) 

Another problem is that it would not be forbidden to use "sr-ME" about 
"Standard Serbian as used in Montenegro" - because there are no 
absolute rules about which region subtags that may come after the 
primary language subtag. (E.g. "sr-GL" [Greenland Serbian] is perfectly 
valid - ) 
And, also, in a Serbian text, you *could* also use exactly "sr-ME" 
around the 3 words by which "Standard Serbian as used in Montenegro" 
differs from "Serbian Serbian".

Therefore, to me it seems like, yes, there is a need for a tag to 
identify Standard Montenegrin. However, it seems like a variant subtag 
could be enough for that purpose.
leif halvard silli

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list