Serbo-Croatian continuum: the top level

Doug Ewell doug at
Mon Mar 3 16:50:51 CET 2014

Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

>> (1c) We can use our extraordinary powers under Section 2.2.1
>> subsection 5 of RFC 5646 and create our own primary language
>> [subtags].  The RFC says "an attempt to register any new proposed
>> primary language MUST be made to the ISO 639 registration authority".
>> Technically, this would only authorize the creation of a [subtag] for
>> Kajkavian, but I think we can take it as read that the RA would
>> reject the others on the same grounds.
> Why would this be tempting? If we registered a three-letter code, the
> RA could assign those three letters to something else later.

Of course we cannot create our own three-letter primary language subtag.
Those must be based on ISO 639. We can, however, create a primary
language subtag of five to eight letters. See RFC 5646, Section 2.2.1,
item 5.

Note that I'm not saying whether this is an appropriate solution to the
Serbo-Croatian problem as stated, only clarifying the procedural aspect.

> This brings to mind another question though. Do we have the power to create our own primary script tags?

No. See RFC 5646.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, USA | @DougEwell

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