Elizabeth Pyatt ejp10 at
Mon Dec 19 15:04:18 CET 2016

FWIW - Language codes can apply to parts of the document as well as the whole document. If the content were part of a linguistic corpus, it would be important to mark individual portions as being either English or Spanish. Many linguists studying code switching are interested in when speakers switch between languages. The switches would also be important for anyone reading the document with a screen reader.

As for an entire document, one could determine what the primary language is and use that as the code. For instance, if the Spanglish passages of dialogue in a mostly English novel, I would assume that the  document would be lang=“en”.  

There are times when the primary language as such is not clear. For that scenario, a mechanism to demarcate code switching would be useful.

My two cents.


> On Dec 18, 2016, at 4:38 AM, ietf-languages-request at wrote:
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2016 00:24:20 +0000
> From: dzo at
> To: "Michael Everson" <everson at>, "Ietf-languages"
> 	<ietf-languages-bounces at>, "IETF Languages Discussion"
> 	<ietf-languages at>
> Subject: Re: Spanglish
> Message-ID:
> 	< at b17.c1.bise6.blackberry>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> No idea, but it would be interesting if there were a kind of envelope code for code-switching within which one could add relevant language codes. The phenomenon is mostly oral, of course, but for any kind of transcription (say of a focus group in which Bambara and French get mixed) a flexible coding mechanism might be useful. 
> Don
> Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Penn State University
ejp10 at, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

3A Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802

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