RE: [Ltru] Extended language tags

"Don Osborn" <dzo@bisharat.net> Fri, 05 October 2007 03:42 UTC

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From: "Don Osborn" <dzo@bisharat.net>
To: "'Andrew Cunningham'" <lang.support@gmail.com>, <ltru@ietf.org>
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Subject: RE: [Ltru] Extended language tags
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 23:42:30 -0400
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Cunningham [mailto:lang.support@gmail.com]
...
> But at the moment, the way I'm using "din" is as an
> unspecified variety of Dinka not covered by the current
> ISO-639-3 codes".
...

Which seems to be saying that in this case there is need for an appropriate level of imprecision in the tagging, and that this is met by the macrolanguage code alone (which is in 639-3 also, as I read it). I'm thinking that this is not so much the exception, but a situation that can arise with many other (macro)languages where there is no formal standard.

I can see the point of having a tag to describe a standardized form, if such a formal standardization is arrived at (though I'm not sure where discussions are re ar and Standard Arabic). But what if usages just keep crossing or blurring the lines among "languages" within the "macrolanguage"?  This is not just limited to Dinka - there were a few publications in Fulfulde a while back (one title was Janng'en Fulfulde as I recall) that deliberately tried to address a range of speakers (to the point of having footnotes to clarify usage in specific dialects where these were markedly different). Nowadays, anyone could try that on a website, blog or Wikipedia. In such a case wouldn't the ISO 639-1/2 code (ff/ful) be appropriate?

Maybe there's no argument here, but I wanted to underscore this perspective before letting it be.

Don




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