Language for taxonomic names, redux

Luc Pardon lucp at
Thu Mar 2 11:55:29 CET 2017

On 01-03-17 19:57, Peter Constable wrote:
> My comment isn't raising opposition to registering a subtag related to biologic, taxonomic terminology. 

   OK, thanks for clarifying.

> My point is that it's not clear whether the subtag should always have
> a prefix of "la-", or can have other primary language subtags as
> prefixes.
> How will content authors have any idea which terms to tag "en" versus "en-taxon" [...] versus "la-taxon"?
> <snip>
> Evidently from your remarks (snipped out below), it seems you think this is not an issue. 

  That's correct, I don't think it's an issue, and am trying to
understand why you think it is.

  To state the obvious: we're talking about a word from language A that
is being used by speakers of B. If that happens frequently, it will
eventually cross the line and become a B-word.

  Before the crossing, it must be tagged as "A", to be able to tell it
apart from the surrounding B-words.

  After the crossing, it is a B-word swimming in a B-sea, and there is
no need to tell it apart anymore.

  Example 1: an English word, such as "download", that is making inroads
into Dutch, would be tagged "en" at first. At some point in time, it
will become "naturalized" and then it will become "nl" (and in fact,
this particular crossing has happened already).

  We would not use "nl-English" even if we could, would we?

  Example 2: a taxonomic term would be tagged "la-taxon" at first, but
after the crossing, it will shed its original tag and become plain "nl".

  I can understand your concern that it's not always obvious to know
when the line has been crossed. But that's where the "sapiens" part of
the "homo taggensis" should kick in. As I said, we're dealing with
languages and not mathematics.

  Even so, that question is about whether to tag with "A" or "B", i.e.
"en" vs. "nl", or "la-taxon" vs. "en" in the examples above.

  Therefore, I do not understand why (or when) you think "nl-taxon" (or
"en-taxon") would be needed, or even useful.

  That construct would mean - to me - something like "this word is part
of a variant of Dutch as spoken by taxonomists".


  * if anything at all, Dutch taxonomists "speak" a variant of Latin,
the same variant of Latin as their colleagues worldwide, so "nl-taxon"
does not exist, and, disregarding that for a moment,

  * if the word has crossed the line, it is precisely because it's no
longer used by taxonomists only, but by everybody and his dog, and
therefore it is _no_longer_ part of that particular "variant of Dutch",
but has become part of "everyday Dutch". In Tagspeak, that would
translate as: bye bye "*-taxon", welcome (plain) "nl".

  What am I missing?


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