Portuguese subtags

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Sep 13 11:38:15 CEST 2011

On 13 Sep 2011, at 09:19, António H F P A Emiliano (FCSH/UNL) wrote:

> After due consideration, I would say that the minimal and optimal set of subtags for encoding Portuguese written texts is:
> pre1911

If pre1911 this does not point to anything specific, then it's just any number of conflicting unstandardized practices, so there should not be a subtag for it. 

> 1911bou - Bases da Ortografia Unificada
> 1945colb - Convenção Ortográfica Luso-Brasileira
> 1990aolp - Acordo Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa
> I confess that I am not very comfortable with the idea of suddenly having all these PT subtags. But my main argument remains: if you introduce a 1990 subtag then you MUST perforce also have 1945 and 1911.

This was also my point: since the 1990 orthography is controversial and some people may not adopt it, it may be necessary to distinguish what they do write from the 1990 orthography.

> There is still a potential snag regarding the 1990 subtag. I have addressed this issue in my earliest comments and have not read a satisfactory reply or suggestion. What should the meaning of the date be?
> The 1990 reform was signed in 1990 by representatives of the governments of 7 PT-speaking countries; it was approved by the Portuguese Parliament in 1991; it was ratified by the Portuguese president also in 1991; ; it lay dormant for almost 20 years; it was officially introduced in PT in 2008; it will in principle be fully enforced in PT in 2014 or 2015. I sincerely hope that no one uses 1990aolp as a simple chronological tag (1911 and 1945 are chronological tags, like the German tags -- they refer to the date of official approval and implementation; 1990 does not).

I don't know how to respond to this; the 1990 implementation seems problematic.

On 12 Sep 2011, at 15:54, António H F P A Emiliano (FCSH/UNL) wrote:

>> One correction: 1990aolp has an official vocabulary in
>> http://www.portaldalinguaportuguesa.org/ (Vocabul?rio Ortogr?fico do
>> Portugu?s).
> No. I'm sorry but that is NOT an official reference work or tool. That is an online database, which by definition is not a closed entity. It has mistakes and it is NOT stable. I know it has been endorsed by the "Ministério da Educação" (the Dept of Education) but that endorsement cannot override what is clearly stated in the treaty.

Isn't this problematic, João?

> I *entreat* Michael Everson to oppose in the strongest terms possible the inclusion of even a single reference to this database in the proposal. That thing is an embarassment to all serious Portuguese linguists. We are waiting for the Portuguese Academy to publish its vocabulary,

I would prefer to see an actual specification. Otherwise what does the subtag refer to? It does not really matter of the Portuguese Academy or some other body publishes it, I suppose, but surely there must be *some* word-list that one can rely upon. If not, perhaps it is too early to specify a subtag. 

> but even that vocabulary will not fulfil the requirements of the treaty, which are clearly stated.

What does this mean? 

>> I don't think the pre1911 makes sense given that there are several reforms before.
> Those reforms were “informal” reforms in the sense that no formal royal or governmental decree was issued concerning them (that we know of). ‘pre1911’ will provide, I think, a nice way to encompass all texts written prior to the existence of an official Portuguese orthography.

You can use an un-specified language tag for that. The subtag points to a specific orthography in this context.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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