Portuguese subtags (was: RE: Ietf-languages Digest, Vol 104, Issue 15)

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Fri Sep 16 00:02:13 CEST 2011

António H F P A Emiliano (FCSH/UNL) <ah dot emiliano at fcsh dot unl
dot pt> wrote:

>>     Description: Portuguese orthography based on 1990 agreement.
> ...
>>     Comments: Portuguese orthography as defined by an international
>>       agreement signed in 1990 and implemented from 2009
>>  4. Intended meaning of the subtag:
>> This variant subtag is intended to apply to text that uses the modern
>> Portuguese orthography introduced in an international agreement signed
>> in 1990 and implemented from 2009.
>>  5. Reference to published description
>>     of the language (book or article):
>> The full text of the Agreement (Acordo Ortogr?fico da L?ngua
>> Portuguesa (1990)) as part of the Portuguese Parliament Resolution
>> n. 26/91: http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1991/08/193A00/43704388.pdf
>> The official vocabulary is at http://www.portaldalinguaportuguesa.org/
>> as defined by the Minister's Council Resolution n. 8/2011:
>> http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/2011/01/01700/0048800489.pdf
> The full official name of the reform should be stated at least in the  
> comments if not in the description.
> The language of this should be thoroughly proofread by a native  
> speaker of EN.
> "1990 agreement" is very vague language.

As a native English speaker, I didn't have any problems with the English
in these proposals.

I agree that the actual name of the agreement/accord/whatever should be
provided, instead of "an international agreement."  That's important
information, especially if the "year of implementation" or "year of
reform" is in doubt, or different from one country to another.

Keep in mind that the "Description" field, despite its name, should be
relatively short.  Its purpose is to identify the language variation
enough to distinguish it from others.  The "Comments" field can be
longer and more descriptive, but really detailed references such as Web
addresses and bibliographic citations belong in the registration form,
not the record.  Actually I thought João's registration forms were
pretty well done in this regard.

> I strongly object to the reference to an "official vocabulary": there  
> is no such thing. There is an online database that contains errors  
> and typos. Furthermore it is not a stable resource and no complete  
> wordlist can be extracted from it. There are at least two  
> commercially available dictionaries in print that could be used as  
> references, provided that the proposal mentions i) that these  
> dictionaries do not coincide 100%, and ii) that these dictionaries do  
> not fulfil the stipulation of the 1990 Treaty.

The argument seems to be that without a stable, definitive, error-free
and typo-free reference, this is not a variation worthy of tagging.  I
don't think there is general consensus for that position.  Look through
the variant subtags in the Registry and you will find many which are not
specified to this level of precision.  

>> Message: 3
>> Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:50:09 +0200
>> From: Luc Pardon <lucp at skopos.be>
>> To: ietf-languages at iana.org
>> Subject: Re: Portuguese subtags
>> On 09/14/2011 07:16 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> Whether
>> the dictionary for it is printed in the proper typeface or on the  
>> proper
>> paper size to be recognized by Michael as a valid source is totally
>> irrelevant.
> I fail to see the relevance of this remark.

Just so it's clear, from this point on, the quotes to which António
replied are Luc's, not mine.

> There are no authoritative dictionaries for the 1990 reform. No well- 
> known publications.

I don't think there are any truly authoritative dictionaries for Scouse
or Boontling, either.

I don't know Portuguese, so I can't comment on the worthiness of these
proposals from a linguistic perspective.  But this is starting to feel
like an effort to use legal technicalities to reject the proposals on
the basis of not liking the reforms.  I hope I am reading the situation

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14
www.ewellic.org | www.facebook.com/doug.ewell | @DougEwell ­

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