LANGUAGE SUBTAG REGISTRATION FORM: respell (was '...vowels')

Mark Davis ☕ mark at
Fri Oct 15 17:38:35 CEST 2010

Exactly. When people write in a field the pronunciation of their name, it
may not be following any set system; the only thing they need is for it to
be understandable. That is exactly the purpose behind having the general

The second reason is that if and when specific respelling system names need
to be registered, this also provides a basis for lookup and matching: if you
see en-respell-XXXX, even if you don't know the system XXXX, you know that
the content is a respelling.


*— Il meglio è l’inimico del bene —*

On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 12:43, Philip Newton <philip.newton at> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:24 PM, Mark Davis ☕ <mark at> wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 10:06, Michael Everson <everson at>
> wrote:
> >> "vowels" is, well, not so nice. Arabic texts are said to be vocalized
> when
> >> they use diacritics and Hebrew pointed. There is also the question of
> how
> >> this relates to Thaana and Tengwar.
> >
> > The exact term doesn't matter, if you prefer "vocalizd" or "pointed".
> I thought of "pointed", too, though I thought that applied also to Arabic.
> I'm not sure whether this variant is applicable to Thaana; as far as I
> know, it's obligatorily vowelled (vocalised? pointed?), making it more
> of an abugida than an abjad.
> Whatever the subtag ends up called, it seems to me like a reasonable
> thing to want to (optionally) tag.
> >> "respell" is very much not so nice. It is so vague as to be meaningless.
> >> All it means is "non-standard spelling" as far as I can see.
> I thought that "respelling" was a technical term for the kind of thing
> you tend to see in dictionaries: representing spelling using the
> orthographic conventions of the language.
> So in that sense, it's not like the spelling that's used in running
> text, but it is standardised: a dictionary would not use "ay" for the
> FACE vowel in some words but "ai" or "ae" in others - it would
> standardise on one particular spelling (such as "ay" or "ā").
> > The intent is that where that is necessary, that this be the "root" of
> > all such terms. That allows content to be tagged where the precise
> > mechanism is not known or not relevant.
> Or where it may even be ad-hoc, as when people represent the
> pronunciation of their own names by respelling them: they typically
> don't resort to a standardised scheme they learned from a dictionary,
> or the IPA, or something like that, but write something like
> "NYOO-ton".
> Cheers,
> Philip
> --
> Philip Newton <philip.newton at>
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