request for subtag for Elfdalian

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Jan 22 15:40:42 CET 2016

Kent Karlsson scripsit:

> The request for a code for älvdalian, however, is different. It
> should have been accepted. It is genuinely different from (standard)
> Swedish to a great extent. True, there are many dialects of Swedish,
> but this is more than a dialect, älvalian is a separate language,
> official status as minority language or language continuum in the
> region of Dalarna notwithstanding.

I think that's the problem: the Swedish government fears that if ISO
recognizes Elfdalian as a language by giving it a code, they will be
forced to treat Elfdalian-speakers as official minorities under the
various treaties that Sweden is a party to.

In any case, if the RA will not act until someone gives them official
guidance for language vs. dialect (beyond Weinreich's rule), they will
be waiting until all is blue.  So I think we should create a subtag
of sv if there is a demand for it, though in pure terms Elfdalian and
Dalecarlian varieties generally are on one side of a great divide and
all the other North Germanic languages on the other.

John Cowan        cowan at
Reversing the apostolic precept to be all things to all men, I usually [before
Darwin] defended the tenability of the received doctrines, when I had to do
with the [evolution]ists; and stood up for the possibility of [evolution] among
the orthodox --thereby, no doubt, increasing an already current, but quite
undeserved, reputation for needless combativeness.  --T. H. Huxley

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