Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at
Tue Mar 24 10:57:40 CET 2015

On 2015/03/24 02:36, Michael Everson wrote:
> On 23 Mar 2015, at 16:39, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at> wrote:
>> Which seems to request a singular reference, though the actual registry doesn't include it.  Nowhere in the RFC does it say that a reference is necessary, nor provide guidance as to the perceived "quality" of the reference; this part of the form seems to be informational (though "book or article" seems a bit antiquated nowadays.)  Regardless, a reference has been provided.
> Again, for things like the French Academy dictionaries and Oxford spelling, we have reliable sources.

These are at at one end of a continuum, on what might call the "high 
precision" side. Many of the subtags we have are way over to the other 
side, towards "low precision". An example would be 'gsw', which stands 
for Swiss German, Alemannic, and Alsatian, all lumped together where 
neither of these (in particular not Swiss German) comes in a wide 
variety of dialects.

> The problem with these Portuguese decrees is that there isn’t something reliable. Why is this problematic? Because these are intended to be normative (many of our subtag descriptions are not).

There is nothing in the RFCs or in the registry that does in any way 
express normativeness. Even if something is tagged as en-GB-oed, there's 
no guarantee that it's all spelled right.

> So I have sought something reliable.
> The AO1990 is the most problematic of them because it’s just a set of recommendations, vague enough so that its implementations are conflicting. And even where there are options within the “single” orthography, isn’t it the case that users of AO1990 who live in Brazil might use different options than users in Europe might? If “fact” can be written both “fato” and “facto” in the same orthography, then this is not analogous to, for instance, UK/Oxford/Canadian/etc “colour” vs US “color”.

If there are differences between Portuguese and Brasilian spelling, that 
can be solved by using the respective country identifiers.

A completely different way to see this is to look at the 1990 accord as 
acknowledging the variety of Portuguese (my guess is that the spelling 
difference e.g. between  “fato” and “facto”  results from an underlying 
pronunciation difference). The idea that everybody writes the way they 
speak, i.e. differently if they speak differently, is a very old one. It 
has been out of fashion since the nation-state and 'standard' 
orthographies became popular, and it may look like a nightmare to school 
teachers and copy editors, but it may be one valid way to acknowledge 
both the commonality as well as the variation of the language.

> Why shouldn’t this be addressed?

It would be good if it could be addressed, but even if it can't, that 
should not be an impediment for registration.

Regards,   Martin.

> Michael Everson *
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