Conlangs and Kajkavian

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Jan 20 00:36:44 CET 2015

Just some heads-ups from reviewing the RA changes:

They have rejected a whole bunch of conlangs using boilerplate text
like this:

    The request to create the code [urq] for Uropi is rejected. The
    ISO 639 family of standards is currently undergoing a
    revision process. Part of this process will include a review
    of the criteria for granting codes under the various parts. In
    anticipation that this language might not qualify under likely
    changes to tighten the criteria for constructed languages in
    the coming revision of standard, the RA is rejecting this
    request. After the criteria are clarified in the revision,
    it may be appropriate to resubmit. In the meantime, the part 2
    code [art] is available for this language. The RA expects that
    application could be made to the IANA Language Subtag Registry
    for a subtag that could be used within the framework of BCP47
    to create a language tag that would distinguish this particular
    language from other constructed languages.

This raises the question of whether we are prepared to accept variant
subtag registrations for conlangs under the umbrella 'art' primary
language (really language-group) tag.  Since these conlangs are separate
and distinct languages by any reasonable criteria, we then should ask

1) Do we want to get into the conlang registration business?
If so, we will need to set criteria for what to register.
The current criteria require that a conlang has a literature,
which I take to mean more than just a grammar and a dictionary.

2) If so, do we want to use variant tags, or should we use our ability
to create primary language tags (of 5 characters or more, so the same
size as variant tags) for languages that the RA rejects?

I think we should at least discuss these things, even if the discussion
becomes moot later on because of the RA's new criteria.

I am glad to see that the RA has accepted Kajkavian (one of the
macro-dialects of "Serbo-Croatian in the wider sense") under the name of
"Kajkavian literary language".  Of course there is no reason not to use
this for the Kajkavian spoken language varieties that are still extant.

John Cowan        cowan at
It was impossible to inveigle
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Into offering the slightest apology
For his Phenomenology.                      --W. H. Auden, from "People" (1953)

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