Applying for a Neo subtag

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Mon Mar 7 11:40:28 CET 2011

Den 2011-03-07 10:54, skrev "Michael Everson" <everson at>:

> On 7 Mar 2011, at 09:12, Kent Karlsson wrote:
>> A variant subtag for "art" would be inappropriate. Neo not a variant of
>> "art", and in addition "art" is a collection code.
> Isn't it a "collective" code, not a "collection" code?

Well, it's in ISO 639-5, which has the title "Codes for  the representation
of names of languages-- Part 5: Alpha-3 code for  language families and
groups" (I don't see "collective" or "collection" mentioned, on the other
hand, the normative text is not published at the "home site"). ISO 639-3 and
-2 refer to them as "collective", see e.g. and But BCP 47 (current
version) refers to them as "collection" subtags; see, 3.1.11., Scope Field.
Pick your favourite. However, since this list bases its work on BCP 47,
it may be best to use the term used by BCP 47.

> In any case, what good is it then?

Not a whole lot as a language tag on a document in a single language (except
to say "it's in an artificial language, but indeterminate as to which one").
As bibliographic tag for a (set of) shelf(s) of books on/in artificial
languages, it is fine.

>> Neo should have a primary language subtag.
> How do you have a subtag without a tag?

BCP 47 refers to all "atomic" parts of a language tag as a "subtag". That
includes the primary language subtag. So "en" is a language tag that
consists only  of the (primary language) subtag "en". "en-GB" is a language
tag that consists of the primary language subtag "en" and the territory
subtag "GB". "sub" here refers to (sub)component of a tag; it is *not* a
synonym for an indication of "variant" or "subdivision" (in the view of BCP
47) of a language; though such a variant can be indicated by a "variant

>> A primary language subtag with 5-8 characters would work if the request to
>> add a three-character code for Neo to ISO 639-3 fails. (I guess regarding Neo
>> as a variant of Esperanto or Ido is not appropriate, despite the
>> similarities.)
> Neo is not a revision of Esperanto or Ido.

That's what I assumed.

> You did not comment on Sussex English and Appalachian English.

Because I did not have anything to add or comment on, at this moment,
regarding those...

    /Kent K

> Michael Everson *

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