Nepali Extension Language Question (WAS: Review period; Nepali and Oriya)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Aug 7 01:57:07 CEST 2012

Hi, once more. I've so far only looked at Nepali; will try to look at Oriya too. (Sorry you had to ask this twice).

    Doug Ewell 
    doug at

    Sat Aug  4 05:04:17 CEST 2012

> There's one week left in the review period for the 180 registration 
> requests I submitted last week for changes driven by ISO 639-3. This 
> period can be extended if necessary, but judging by the number of 
> responses so far (0) this seems unlikely.

> Last week I wrote:

>> Although ISO 639-3 has converted the existing code elements for Nepali
>> and Oriya into macrolanguages, and added new code elements for Nepali
>> proper and Oriya proper (and the other two encompassed languages), no
>> proposals are presented here to add Nepali and Oriya to the list of
>> macrolanguages whose encompassed languages get extlang subtags
>> (currently 8, epitomized by Chinese and Arabic). This can be discussed
>> on the list, and proposals added, if desired. As a note, two years ago
> we did this for Latvian, and the resulting discussion carried on for
>> months.

> I'm not arguing for or against putting Nepali and Oriya into the extlang 
> category, but I do want to call attention to the fact that this can ONLY 
> be done now, at the time the encompassed languages are registered. They 
> cannot be registered as extlangs later. (So says Section 3.3, item 
> 12.C.4.)
This is a case then for registering them. However, according to the information at the change request for Nepali,

"1) Intelligibility: Dotyali people in the villages (uneducated) do not inherently understand
Nepali [nep], it is only through education or extensive contact that Nepali becomes
understood (acquired intelligibility only). Nepali speakers do not understand Dotyali.
"2) Identity: There is a strong feeling of separate linguistic identity from that of Nepali . . . "
is supported by the other points of this argument). For the past two decades, Dotyali
speakers have identified their language separately from Nepali in the population census of
Nepal (in both the 1991 and 2001 census, and certain to show up in the 2011 census
results - prior to 1991, the census did not ask about mother tongue). Prior to the 2011
census, there was a Dotyali campaign for all Dotyali speakers to identify their language as
"3) History: There is a history of Dotyali language since they had their own kingdom prior to
the unification of Nepal in the 18th century A.D. They have historical inscriptions dating
back to the 14th century A.D."
"4) Literature: There is a separate literature (and other language-based development) in
Dotyali: literary magazines, novels, stories, poems, dictionary, grammar, songs, folk
literature, folklore, FM radio station, separate programmes on a Nepali radio station,
Dotyali-language news from the regional station of Radio Nepal, and consistent use Dotyali
in public meetings and political gatherings."

"Nepali [nep] is a major language with a significant body of literature and research. But
Dotyali speakers consider reading Nepali as reading a second language (which it is). The
common characteristics between Nepali and Dotyali are a shared script (Devanagari) and
some shared vocabulary (as is true between all Indo-Aryan languages). They are both in
the same branch of the Indo-Aryan language family (the Pahadi group of the Indo-Aryan)."

Based on this information, unless we find anything counter to this, then perhaps the languages Nepali [npi] and Dotyali[dpy] should not be registered as extension languages for the macrolanguage [nep].
But I have not other information.
Just wanted to share this link quickly with those who had not located it.


--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at  
>  --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA
> | @DougEwell ­ 

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