request for subtag for Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad mats.gbproject at
Thu Feb 18 17:18:49 CET 2016

2016-02-18 17:04 GMT+01:00 Arthur Reutenauer <
arthur.reutenauer at>:

> > - I think the evidence demand of "at least 50 works written in the
> language
> > are held in libraries" is really unfair.
>   That's for ISO 639-2, it doesn't apply to -3.

I asked RA about the the 50 books, I got this answer:

> Not all languages that have codes have 50 written works. However, the
reviewers felt that this case, with strong objections from the Swedish
government, should show that there would be serious separate language
development, apart from that of Swedish. The number 50 is one used by part
2 of the standard as a minimum to create a new language, so that is why it
was chosen.

> > - One of the most problematic formulations in the rejection is that the
> RA
> > say Övdalian/Elfdalian "*fall under the “roof” of a more dominant
> > standardized language that already has a Part 2 code*". I'm tempted to
> ask
> > what kind of "roof" they're talking about.
>   They must mean that Standard Swedish is a Dachsprache of Elfdalian
> ([de] Dach: roof), it's a sociolinguistic concept.  I don't think that's
> particularly controversial; whether it warrants rejecting the
> application for a primary language code is another matter, of course.
> It is not controversial to say that Elfdalian is not a Dachsprache, but to
say that Elfdalian is not a language because it is not a Dachsprache is
harder to swallow... and that we need to ask Sweden for permission to
recognize it for what it really is; that's an ethnic argument and not
relevant for ISO 639 which represent codes for languages.

>         Best,
>                 Arthur
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