Add Likely Subtags first step (fwd)

Caoimhin O Donnaile caoimhin at
Mon Jan 26 12:23:07 CET 2015

Regarding the comment field for cel-gaulish, I forwarded a couple of 
messages from the discussion to an expert, David Stifter at the University 
of Maynooth.  While previously at the University of Vienna he was in 
responsible for setting up the Lepontic database, 
I enclose his reply below.

I also now see what he wrote in the proposal (accepted) for a ISO 639-3 
language code (pgl) for Primitive Irish:
  “Old Irish (sga) is the immediate successor.  Its more distant relatives
   are the contempraneous Old British language (no language code) and
   ancient Gaulish (xtg, xcg, xga, nrc).  Further removed are Lepontic
   (xlp) and Celtiberian (xce).”

So it looks as if the comment field should either be left blank as John 
recommended, or else it should say:
   see xtg, xcg, xga
or perhaps:
   see xtg, xcg, xga, nrc
but it should not include xlp.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:31:49 +0000
From: David Stifter <David.Stifter at>
To: Christopher Gwinn <cgwinn at GMAIL.COM>,
     Caoimhin O Donnaile <caoimhin at>
Cc: John Cowan <cowan at>
Subject: Re: Add Likely Subtags first step (fwd)

Hi all,

thanks a lot for this. I agree with John, Lepontic should rather not
be put into the comment field, although there are many colleagues
around who would maintain that it is only an early form of Gaulish.
Given the available evidence, I stick with the view that it is a
separate, albeit closely related language.
  xtg, xcg and xga are fine. I don't think anybody disputes that they
are variants of Gaulish.

All the best


On 25 Jan 2015 at 13:22, Caoimhin O Donnaile wrote:

> David, Chris,
> Just forwarding to you a followup message to the one from the
> ietf-languages at list which I forwarded to you yesterday, in
> case you have any comments which you want to put in.
> I don’t think any of this is any big deal.  It looks like the old
> tag “cel-gaulish” (which doesn’t fit modern syntax, since
> “cel” is not a language) is going to be “deprecated”, which
> will help to stop people from using it by accident.  The only issue is
> what to put in the comment field which hardly anyone will see.  The
> most likely candidate at the moment seems to be simply “see xtg,
> xcg, xlp, xga”.
> Le deagh dhùrachd,
> Caoimhín
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 22:47:01 -0500
> From: John Cowan <cowan at>
> To: Doug Ewell <doug at>
> Cc: ietf-languages <ietf-languages at>
> Subject: Re: Add Likely Subtags first step
> Kent Karlsson scripsit:
>> According to Wikipedia, the Gaulish languages are (or rather were):
>> xtg – Transalpine Gaulish xcg – Cisalpine Gaulish xlp –
>> Lepontic xga – Galatian
> It's a bit more dcomplex than that.  Lepontic is probably the sister
> language to the Gaulish group, and whether Noric and Galatian are
> Gaulish proper or just closely related is a question.  Celtiberian is
> further away.  But nobody knows whether these languages form a proper
> clade with respect to the insular Celtic languages or not.
> I would deprecate this tag and *not* refer to any other tags.  People
> who are likely to tag things with Gaulish probably know more about it
> than any of us on this list (unless indeed we have a Gaulish scholar
> lurking, in which case, speak up!)
>> So I think a comment like:
>> "Comment: See: nan for Min Nan, mnp for Min Bei, cdo for Min Dong,
>>   czo for Min Zhong, cpx for Pu-Xian."
>> would be appropriate for this registry entry, while deprecating this
>> tag.
> I agree, but using the standard comment form "see nan, mnp, cdo, czo,
> cpx".
> [...]
> --
> John Cowan        cowan at

Prof. David Stifter
Maynooth University
School of Celtic Studies
Dept. of Early Irish

tel.: ++353-(0)1-708 3710
mobil: ++353-(0)86-410 0037

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