Request of new variant subtag for kichwa (inside qu)

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Jun 7 19:55:31 CEST 2011

Phillips, Addison scripsit:

> I wouldn't think so: it isn't a separate language but rather a
> particular variation or flavor of Quechua, although ISO 639 is welcome
> to make a different conclusion ;-).

But Quechua is not itself a language; it is a language collection that
is treated as a single language for some purposes.  I think having the
concept "variant of a macrolanguage" is confusing and shouldn't be
employed; macrolanguages have members, not variants, and if we allow
both it will be very difficult to say which goes with what.

Adding a standardized Ecuadorian Quechua with its own primary language
subtag is closely analogous to Standard German, Arabic, or Chinese, all
of which have their own primary language subtags.

> I'm not sure that registering a subtag is necessary if the region code
> 'EC' already covers the particular need. Wikimedia's allergy to region
> codes could be considered perverse because, if taken to its logical
> extreme, it would require the registration of many more variant
> subtags to represent specific regional, official, or standardized
> forms that would otherwise be well identified by and associated with a
> given region.

Their concern is, I think, legitimate: they do not want to set a
precedent whereby the English Wikipedia became fragmented into en-US,
en-GB, en-CA, ... varieties, which would serve no one well.

> However, usually a distinction is maintained between specific language
> variations (especially when formally defined that thus may need to be
> separately identified) from general variations within a language.

I don't understand this sentence.

And it was said that ever after, if any                 John Cowan
man looked in that Stone, unless he had a               cowan at
great strength of will to turn it to other    
purpose, he saw only two aged hands withering
in flame.   --"The Pyre of Denethor"

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