Re: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"

Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com> Thu, 28 November 2019 00:27 UTC

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From: Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com>
To: Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com>, Doug Ewell <doug@ewellic.org>, 'ietf-languages' <ietf-languages@iana.org>
Thread-Topic: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"
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Subject: Re: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"
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I think it’s rarely safe to make assumptions about other languages someone might use if going in the direction of lower likelihood. So, if someone indicates they speak (say) Ainu, it’s probably _somewhat_ safe to assume they can also speak Japanese; but it certainly wouldn’t be safe to assume that, if a speaker of Japanese also speaks other languages, then Ainu would be one of them.

If I know that someone speaks English (native speaker, or maybe 2nd language?), and that they also speak a signed language, maybe that sign language is ASL, but it might also be Maritime Sign Language, or Hawai’I Sign Language, or Kenyan Sign Language, etc. At a minimum, I probably need much more info to make reduce risk of bad inferences, and probably I shouldn’t make inferences at all but should let them indicate explicitly all of their language preferences.


Peter

From: Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 11:33 AM
To: Doug Ewell <doug@ewellic.org>rg>; Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com>om>; 'ietf-languages' <ietf-languages@iana.org>
Subject: RE: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"

Yea, I expressed my thoughts poorly.  I meant it more like “if someone speaks English but wants to indicate they’d like to use a signed language.” (which wouldn’t be English, of course, but one might be able to infer which one(s) they’d be more likely to use if you knew the user knew English.)”.  Probably that concept would be best expressed through a non-language tagged setting.

Similar to the idea “if an en-CA speaker spoke a 2nd language, which one(s) would it most likely be (perhaps fr-CA?)”

Anyway, after sending my random thought to the list, it seems like this would probably be best expressed through a mechanism other than a language tag.  (Unless it was an explicit “en-US;ase” type list.)

It’s still unclear to me if a “signed modality of English” would be interesting enough (and consistent enough) to warrant a subtag.   It sounds like the answer is probably “no”.

-Shawn

From: Doug Ewell <doug@ewellic.org<mailto:doug@ewellic.org>>
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 6:33 PM
To: Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com<mailto:petercon@microsoft.com>>; Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com<mailto:Shawn.Steele@microsoft.com>>; 'ietf-languages' <ietf-languages@iana.org<mailto:ietf-languages@iana.org>>
Subject: RE: [Ietf-languages] [EXTERNAL] Re: language identifiers for sign languages (incl. sgn) vs. attribute for indicating the representation of an individual language in "sign language modality"

Peter Constable replied to Shawn Steele:

>> Would there be a useful scenario to say “I’d like a signed version
>> of English, if you have one” without specifying ASL (ase) explicitly?
>
> Implicit in the wording of that question are two mis-conceptions:
>
> - ASL is not a signed version of English, or in any sense a variant of
>   English.
> - A signed-modality expression of English is still English and not ASL
>   or any other signed language.

Indeed, I think these misconceptions probably cause more confusion over tagging sign languages, and more resistance to developing a solution for signed spoken languages, than anything else.

--
Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US | ewellic.org