Spoken/written/signed/etc. (was: Re: gender voice variants)

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Tue Dec 18 19:59:26 CET 2012

Karen Broome <Karen dot Broome at am dot sony dot com> wrote:

> Also, referencing an earlier e-mail about why these items were left
> out of the spec previously, the idea of including information about
> whether the language was "spoken/written/signed/etc." was supported by
> several members at the time, especially those who had uses for the
> language tag in audiovisual contexts.

We did reach some sort of resolution on this.

Written content can be explicitly tagged with a script subtag, so
"en-Latn" might be used not only to distinguish it in context from the
unusual case of "English, written, but not in Latin," but also to
emphasize that the content is written.

Sign languages have their own subtags (e.g. 'psp'), and can
alternatively be tagged using the extlang syntax ("sgn-psp") to
emphasize visually that they are sign languages. I don't think we ever
reached a consensus on tagging things like Signed Spoken English.

Content that is neither written nor signed is usually assumed to be
spoken, and for that purpose, the script subtag 'Zxxx' can be used, as
it has the Description field "Code for unwritten documents" (not "Code
for unwritten languages" as it did back in 2004).

None of this is perhaps quite as intuitive as writing "en-written" or
"en-signed" or "en-spoken", but it seems to work.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA
http://www.ewellic.org | @DougEwell ­

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