Unifon script?

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Wed Oct 2 20:42:58 CEST 2013

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

>> Peter, would you propose having a mechanism that strongly encourages
>> users of 'fonipa' and 'fonupa' and 'fonxsamp' to include the 'Latn'
>> script subtag as well? (Prefixes can only "strongly encourage"; they
>> can't enforce.)
> On the contrary, I was suggesting that if LSTR included fields to tell
> us that a tag that has 'fonipa' or 'fonupa' implies Latin script (a
> bit like the suppress-script field in terms of its semantic
> implications, but for variants), then I think that would be helpful.

I understand now. This would entail a new field type in the Registry,
which would require resurrecting the LTRU WG so that RFC 5646 could be
revised. We would have to decide if that effort would be worth it.

The new field type would apply to phonetic alphabets and transcription
systems like 'fonipa' and 'fonxsamp', orthographic reforms or choices
like 'bohoric' and 'baku1926', as well as romanizations like 'wadegile'
and 'jyutping' (such that the former could have its Prefix expanded from
"zh-Latn" to "zh"). But it would not apply to variants that have no
relation to orthography or script, such as 'aluku' and 'jauer' and

> If I see "en-fonipa", then the 'en' subtag has the suppress-script
> field that tells me that 'Latn' can be assumed. But if I see
> "huy-fonipa", nothing in the LSTR tells me that. Yet that would be an
> equally appropriate assumption.

Actually, you can't assume 'Latn' from "en-fonipa" either.
Suppress-Script identifies the *default* script for the language when
written normally, but the presence of a variant for a phonetic alphabet
completely overrides this default. You certainly could not assume
anything of this sort from, say, "ru-fonipa" or "ko-fonipa".

Similarly, the fact that Unifon is attested for languages whose normal,
default writing system is (or may be) Latin has no bearing on whether
Unifon itself is Latin-based.

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

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list