Proposed new variant subtag: pre1917

Doug Ewell doug at
Sat Sep 18 19:55:36 CEST 2010

Avram Lyon <ajlyon at ucla dot edu> wrote:

> The possible wider extent of the luna1918 subtag makes me 
> uncomfortable with ru1918.


> As for the content of the prefix field in the registration form, I 
> thought that it specified the expected prefix, but that it didn't 
> preclude the meaningful use of the subtag with other nonspecified 
> prefixes for which the subtag would properly apply. If this is the 
> case, then I don't really think that the reprinting and orthographic 
> modernization of Old Russian (orv) texts is enough of a corpus of 
> taggable texts to justify adding 'orv' to the prefix field. If I'm 
> misunderstanding the purpose of the prefix field, please let me know 
> and I will adjust the subtag requests accordingly.

This will probably always be something of a gray area.  RFC 5646 uses 
the terms "SHOULD" and "makes sense" with regard to the Prefix field for 
variants.  The implication is that using a variant with an unlisted 
prefix is something one should not do, or that doesn't make sense.

In reality, some unlisted prefixes might clearly be more appropriate (or 
less inappropriate) than others.  For example, without knowledge of Low 
Saxon, I might guess than "nds-1901" would be less absurd than 
"bo-1901".  But the Registry doesn't indicate this, and it would be 
impossible to "fix" this "problem" in a way that would satisfy everyone.

If the intended use of these subtags is overwhelmingly for Russian, then 
the Prefix field should be simply 'ru'.

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

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