Doug Ewell doug at
Sat May 5 01:46:22 CEST 2012

Peter Constable wrote:

> There are various distinct issues:
> 1. providing enough description to make reasonably clear the intended
>    denotation
> 2. providing a preferred display name (in language X, or an
>    autoglottonym) for the language
> 3. providing a comprehensive set of names that might be the way a user
>    might expect (e.g. terms that they might use to search for the
>    language in a language picker UI)
> 4. providing translations of terms in 2 or 3 in various languages
> 5. providing an exhaustive listing of names known to ever be used for
>    the language in linguistic documentation (for purposes of
>    documentation, not for use in any ICT implementation)
> Certain #1 is within the scope of the LSTR. It's not clear that any of
> the others are in scope.

I think it should be obvious that neither #4 nor #5 is being attempted 
here, nor really #3 in the true sense of "comprehensive." Slovene is 
certainly "a" preferred display name for this language, so maybe #2.

Clearly the ISO 639 folks (both -2 and -3) have provided, and the 
Registry has carried over, many additional names that are sometimes just 
alternative spellings (Kuanyama and Kwanyama), sometimes regionally 
preferred names (Catalan and Valencian), and sometimes... well, I don’t 
know what value is added (Limburgan, Limburger, Limburgish). Of course 
these are ISO 639's responsibility and not strictly ours.

I won't fight hard over this one if it's going to derail Tomaž's other 
three proposals.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­

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