Status of recent proposals

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Oct 1 16:56:20 CEST 2010

There were a lot of proposals and a lot of discussion during the past
month, but no new registrations.  Below is a summary of the past month's
subtag proposals and their current status as I understand it.  Please
send any corrections or clarifications.

1. Pre- and post-1917 Russian orthography/alphabet

Avram Lyon originally proposed a subtag on September 8 for pre-1917
usage.  After some discussion, this was followed by a second proposal
for a subtag to represent post-1917 usage.  The list discussed the
meaning of the subtags (letter shapes vs. orthography) and spent a lot
of time debating the subtag values, as well as whether the change took
place in 1917 or 1918,  Apparently 'ru' would be the only prefix.

Michael said "please wait" on September 15, then suggested 'petr1708'
and 'luna1918' on September 17.  No significant objection to these
subtag values has emerged since then, but I wasn't sure there was enough
consensus for final forms yet, so none have been sent to the list.

2. ISO 9:1995

Avram proposed a subtag on September 14.  There was concern over the
subtag value; the original 'iso91995' could be confusing even if
research shows the intended ISO number to be unambiguous.  Michael
suggested 'iscyrl95' meaning roughly "the ISO standard from 1995 for
transliterating Cyrillic."  Yury suggested 'iso1995' which assumes that
only one ISO standard on transliteration was published in 1995, and that
the prefix will make it clear that Cyrillic is involved.  I don't recall
seeing consensus on these or any other suggestions.

Registering separate subtags for "System A" (transliteration with
diacritics, ISO 9 and GOST 7.79) and "System B" (transcription to letter
combinations, only in GOST) was also discussed.  This thread also seems
to have died down without consensus.  Consequently, there are no final
forms yet.

3. North Frisian dialects

Twelve subtags were proposed in an Internet-Draft by Björn Höhrmann on
September 15.  After some discussion, Björn clarified that despite
being submitted to IETF, the I-D is still only a "collection of rough
notes"; therefore this set of proposals is not ready for forms.

4.  Wolof Suppress-Script

This was proposed by Peter (with form) on September 19.  Peter noted
that a convention exists for writing Wolof in the Arabic script, making
the Latin Suppress-Script field inappropriate.  There was no objection
from the list on removing this field.

Peter agreed to my suggestion to remove the Comments field explaining
the rationale for removing S-S.  The revised record and registration
form are at the end of this message.  Since the original proposal has
been out for more than a week, only one additional week of review is
needed, so this will be eligible for IANA submission on October 8 (or
whenever Michael is available after that date).

5. Sheng (language, or dialect of Swahili)

Denis Gikunda proposed a variant for Sheng on September 22.  The
question is whether this is a variant of Swahili or a separate language.
 If it is the latter, a proposal to ISO 639-3/RA is more appropriate
than a variant.  Michael said on September 26, "I won't be approving a
subtag unless 639 has been ruled out," meaning a language code element
must be proposed to the RA and rejected.  Obviously the variant request
is on hold pending that.


File-Date: 2010-10-08
Type: language
Subtag: wo
Description: Wolof
Added: 2005-10-16


   1. Name of requester: Peter Constable
   2. E-mail address of requester: petercon at
   3. Record Requested:

      Type: language
      Subtag: wo
      Description: Wolof

   4. Intended meaning of the subtag: Wolof

   5. Reference to published description
      of the language (book or article):

DPLN Senegal. ca 2002. Tableau Général des Alphabets - Arabe/Langues
Nationales en Caractères Coraniques Harmonisés et leurs Correspondants
en Caractères Latins. Direction de la Promotion des Langues Nationales
(DPLN). 23, Rue Calmette. Dakar.

   6. Any other relevant information: When the subtag registry was
initialized, the record was added with a suppress-script field set to
Latn. However, there is an Arabic-script orthography for Wolof, in
addition to a Latin orthography. Since a suppress-script is intended
to be used in cases in which a single script is used "to write the
overwhelming majority of documents for the given language", it is
inappropriate for this field to be used for Wolof.

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

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list