Re: [Ietf-languages] Forms for subtag kmpre20c

Michael Everson <everson@evertype.com> Sun, 01 December 2019 14:14 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Ietf-languages] Forms for subtag kmpre20c
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> I am still not happy with it. How many centuries of orthography is this tag supposed to support?

Whatever is in Khmer script that's written in an old spelling. How
does it matter?

> What process will be able to do anything with it?

The database I'm needing subtags for is mainly bibliographical, it has
the title for each text in two flavors: the original (old) spelling as
appearing on the manuscript, and the equivalent in modern spelling
(Chuon Nath style).

> And again, what are the reforms? What are their dates?

The reform process is long and complex. I have put the reference to
this article describing it several times:

https://englishkyoto-seas.org/2015/04/vol-4-no-1-sasagawa/

I'm not sure what else I can do... Should I copy paste the article
content into an email? Here's a short summary:

1915: establishment of the committee for editing a Khmer dictionary,
start of the debates between phonetic vs. etymological spellings
1926: establishment of a second committee led by Chuon Nath, using
mostly etymological spellings
1920s: printeries using mostly reformed orthography, as it was largely
under the control of those who favored reform (including the French
and reformist monks at the Institut Bouddhique), whereas manuscripts
were generally produced by traditional scribes and scholars and used
non-reformed orthography
1938: first edition of the Dictionnaire Cambodgien by Chuon Nath
1967: 5th and final edition of the Dictionnaire Cambodgien
1967-1974: Khmer becomes main language in education
1972: reform by Loch Phlaeng and the Khmerization movement (more based
on phonetic, less letters, less diphtongues), used officially from
1985 to 2009
2009: official use reverts to Chuon Nath's Dictionnaire Cambodgien

So I suppose you could arbitrarily pick 1967 and 1972 as dates for the
two reforms, but it's not clearcut at all.

> Our tags generally point TO a reference, and don’t specify themselves by relation to what they are NOT.

Well, I guess I'll keep this in a private subtag then. There's no
homogeneity in the pre-reform Khmer spelling. There is no tag that
could be defined to point TO it, because it doesn't exist as a
homogeneous concept that can be agreed upon.

> What sort of Khmer? Modern Khmer (whenever that dates from and to)? Or is this tag supposed to include Old and Middle Khmer?

Why does it matter? My data has whatever Khmer there is in the
Buddhist texts from the 16th to the 20th century (most of them copied
from previous sources, there is no way of knowing when a manuscript
started to circulate so some probably predate the 16th c.). For what
it's worth, I also have a lot of Pāli written using old Khmer
spelling.

> As to the reform or reforms, should there be a subtag that points to an authoritative source for one or more of these?

1967 edition of the "Dictionnaire Cambodgien" by Chuon Nath could be a
good reference for the first one

For the second reform, I have no source... It it talked about in the
article from 2015 and in
https://www.persee.fr/doc/befeo_0336-1519_1999_num_86_1_3414 but I
don't have an exact reference. I'll try to get one.

> This is underspecified and it’s not satisfactory so far.

And it will not be specified further because it cannot.

I suppose one way to unlock the situation would be to propose a subtag
for Chuon Nath's spelling style, I'll do that let's see how it goes.

Best,
-- 
Elie

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