Language subtag registration for acor1990 (ammended from ao1990)

António H F P A Emiliano (FCSH/UNL) ah.emiliano at
Fri Aug 26 18:13:25 CEST 2011

On Aug 26, 2011, at 11:00, ietf-languages-request at wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 12:25:07 -0400
> From: CE Whitehead <cewcathar at>
> To: <ietf-languages at>
> Subject: Language subtag registration for acor1990 (ammended from
> 	ao1990)
> Message-ID: <SNT142-W174DA680DCCC6C695B0666B3100 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Hi.
> António H F P A Emiliano (FCSH/UNL) ah.emiliano at
> Thu Aug 25 16:48:54 CEST 2011
>> 1945 - Portuguese orthography of 1945 (Convenção Ortográfica Luso-
>> Brasileira, 1945)
>> 1990 - Portuguese orthography of 1990 (Acordo Ortográfico da Língua
>> Portuguesa, 1990) -->
>> --> alternatives: 1991 (ratification), 2008 (transitional
>> enforcement), 2014 (full enforcement?)
> We cannot predict the full enforcement date so I would probably if  
> I were you avoid 2014 (as you note the full enforcement date would  
> be acceptable as the language subtag name after all ratify this  
> treaty).

The problem here is that each of the PT-speaking countries will have  
a different enforcement date for the reform. <2014> would be a  
suitable subtag for pt-PT only. I just wanted to point out that the  
matter of proposing a subtag like ao1990 etc. is not as simple or  
straightforward as it might seem.

> A question for you:  is it acceptable to you to use abbreviations  
> of the Portuguese terms for this treaty, "acordo -> acord" or  
> "convencao -> conv" ? I suppose these end up being too opaque.)

Yes, but none of those above.
In my view <aolp1990> or <1990> are the optimal candidates. The  
latter being the shorter and the less opaque.
I just feel that approving this one subtag (i.e. in isolation) will  
introduce an unwarranted divide in the general characterization of  
PT: there will be a “general pt” and a post-1990 pt i.e. “pt- 
PT-1990”. Hence my claim for the need of other subtags and specially  
for the need to think about this matter systemically.

>> Regional variants should also be encoded in subtags: at least one for
>> each the signatories of the Treaty of 1990.

> Hmm.  Sometimes people have suggested doing this with country codes  
> (when the regional boundary is the country).  Of course indicating  
> that a language is pt-[xxxxxxxx]-PT or anything else does not mean  
> it is Portuguese Portuguese as specified by the 1990 treaty.

No, you're right. This would be another type of tagging.

> Philip Newton philip.newton at
> Thu Aug 25 16:59:39 CEST 2011

>> When someone comes along and says, "I have material which I wish to
>> tag with language subtags. I have a business need to distinguish
>> between [variety 1] and [variety 2], and would like to propose two
>> subtags to cover them", that's when variant subtags get created.
> I agree with Phillip here.

OK. Thx.

> Oops.  pt-PT-[xxxxxxxx].

I got it. np

> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 10:33:00 +0900
> From: "Martin J. D?rst" <duerst at>
> To: Philip Newton <philip.newton at>
> Cc: ietf-languages at
> Subject: Re: Language subtag registration for acor1990 (amended from
> 	ao1990)
> Message-ID: <4E56F7CC.70400 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> On 2011/08/25 19:59, Philip Newton wrote:

>> 2011/8/25 Jo?o Miguel Neves<joao at>:
>>> Because if easy to find
>>> a variant in the registry without looking for the language tag is a
>>> requirement, current implementation fails miserably in my short
>>> experience with it.
>> It's not a requirement.
>> As for my personal opinion, "pt1971" would make it easier to find and
>> understand, *but* this ease does not make up for the (subjective)
>> "ugliness" of the subtag which comes from repeating the language code
>> as part of the subtag name. So on the balance, I - personally - would
>> disprefer "pt1971".
> Agreed, the 'pt' in the variant subtag is very ugly indeed!

Agreed. Ugly as is redundant.

> The list of prefixes will contain 'pt', and the description will  
> contain
> the word Portugese. If you want to search for the variant subtags that
> can be used with German, a textual search for "Prefix: de".
> A search for 'de' (as a whole word) is a bit less efficient, but only
> because of descriptions such as "Lengua de Se?as del Paraguay". 'pt'
> does not have that problem.
> Regards,   Martin.

I agree with Martin.

I would just like to add that such a tag <pt1971>, or better <1971>,  
can only be applied to pt-BR, i.e. ==> pt-BR-1971.
This tag has no meaning outside Brazil.
I would recommend that only MAJOR spelling reforms be tagged, unless  
a clear need for more specific subtags is stated and supported.

Regards. - A.

António Emiliano
Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Departamento de Linguística
ah.emiliano at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list