registration requests re Portuguese

Luc Pardon lucp at
Sat Apr 11 18:12:42 CEST 2015

On 11-04-15 00:42, Michael Everson wrote:
>>  1. There is no evidence whatsoever that regional variants of ao1990 do exist. There are only assumptions and guesses. This is not enough to justify the narrowing of the original request down from "Prefix: pt".
> Options are given. An English-language analogy is “aluminium” vs “aluminum”. People typically write this word with the same number of syllables they say.

  Yes, options are given, but that by itself does not mean that the
reform will necessarily fall apart into regionally-defined subsets. Even
the opponents of AO1990 don't claim that, although the options seem to
be their main concern [1].

  In any case, prefixes would not be the proper method to reflect the
existence of multiple regional subsets of AO1990 in the Registry. That
is not what prefixes are for. As Kent pointed out, we would need
distinct subtags for that (e.g. ao1990pt, ao1990br, ...), and of course
that requires separate registration forms along with the usual
supporting evidence, such as a reference to a published description of
each regional variant etc.

  Nobody has volunteered those, so I think that the "distinct subtags"
option is off the table, at least for now. If regional variants are ever
found to exist, and if they prove more tangible than Nessie, we can (try
to) register them as well.

  That leaves us with the prefixes.

  As John pointed out, nobody disputes that "pt-PT-ao1990" or
"pt-BR-ao1990" can be useful, but:

> The issue at hand is to determine
> whether particular countries should be listed in the Registry as
> an indication of where "ao1990" orthography is now in use, or
> whether such a list is more confusing than helpful.

  I couldn't put it more succinctly if I tried.

  For what it's worth, I came across two additional tidbits of
information in the English-language Wikipedia that might help us make
that determination.

  First tidbit: on the "Brazilian Portuguese" page [2], it says :

> All of the CPLP countries have signed the reform. In Brazil, this reform will be in force as of January 2016. Portugal and the other Portuguese speaking countries have already started using the new orthography.

  That article has a rather extensive talk page, but nobody seems to
have challenged the last part of that sentence.

  Of course, if it is true that AO1990 is in use everywhere already (and
it makes perfect sense), then "Prefix: pt" is certainly the proper thing
to do.

  Second tidbit: the Wikipedia page "List of territorial entities where
Portuguese is an official language" gives some numbers of speakers [3].

  It turns out that, with the three proposed prefixes, we already cater
for 212,339,938 speakers of Portuguese, out of a total of 260,963,252
worldwide. That is 81%.

  And as I remarked yesterday, if we stick to ratification as a
criterion for determining where AO1990 is in use, we should add (at
least) four more prefixes, for a total of (at least) seven, and that
raises the number of "catered for" speakers to (at least) 92% of the
worldwide total.

  So why not go for 100% with a single, simple "Prefix: pt" and be done
with it?

  Our friend the Oxendict gets his "Prefix: en" in return for much less
coverage than this - as he should.

   Luc Pardon


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