Review period; Nepali and Oriya

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Aug 24 19:16:26 CEST 2012

Mark Davis ? <mark at macchiato dot com> wrote:

> For stability, it would be better to interpret each code when defined
> as the predominant form (eg Arabic = MSA), and then add additional
> language codes for mutually-incomprensible forms whenever they can be
> clearly identified.

That sounds like a good idea when a language is being coded for the
first time, and there is reason to believe there may be predominant and
non-predominant forms. In theory at least, ISO 639-3 is not in this
position, unlike 639-1 and 639-2. We assume that all known languages
(with well-defined exceptions) are already coded in 639-3, and any
additions or changes are the result of emerging knowledge.

It seems improbable that a language A which has just recently become
known to researchers, and is about to receive a code element, with
whatever semantic the RA chooses to give it, would be likely to have a
known, non-predominant form C which would not also get its own code

If C exists, and is related to A in the way we are discussing, but is
not coded for whatever reason, then considering the granularity 639-3
provides, it seems likely that anyone attempting to tag content in C
would simply use the code element for A, no matter what anyone tells

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­

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