Re: [Ltru] rechartering to handle 639-6 (was FW: Anomaly inupcomingregistry)

CE Whitehead <> Wed, 15 July 2009 22:50 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Ltru] rechartering to handle 639-6 (was FW: Anomaly inupcomingregistry)
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I tend to agree with Mark Davis that the structure of tags that we have enables parsing when a variant is not known.  But I like what Peter and Debbie have worked out:  

From: "Debbie Garside" <debbie at> 

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 21:51:03 +0100 
>Peter wrote:

>> That might not be unreasonable. Of course, we wouldn't need a
>> change in BCP 47 to effect that; it might be sufficient just
>> to have a working procedure within ietf-languages that, if a
>> variant registration comes along, then we always look into
> the possibility of registering the 639-6 ID, adapted as
>> needed. The most important reason to revise BCP 47 would be
>> to formalize requirements on how the ID should be adapted
>> (e.g. requiring "6" + alpha4 -- or whatever).

> Exactly! :-)

> Debbie


My personal feeling is that the geographic codes are generally well-suited for handling regional variation -- so we should definitely only take regional variants of languages that have ISO 639-6 codes on a case-by-case basis because I cannot see a long list of subtags with all this overlapping.
I am not familiar with ISO 639-6 but appreciate Debbie's list of English dialects (I need to go over these sometime). 
How is it decided in ISO 639-6 what is a language and what is a dialect???  Are there any rules since apparently ISO 639-6 deals more with dialects?
Also, will adopting the ISO 639-6 code elements mean deprecating a number of codes and many variant subtags (such as "Valencian")???  Or is that still up for discussion??

--C. E. Whitehead 

From: "Debbie Garside" <debbie at> 
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 08:10:31 +0100 
> Doug wrote:

>> I think there are still some basic concepts to be worked out
>> since that post 2½ years ago.  For example, John Cowan has
>> since suggested using 5-character variant subtags starting
>> with "6" to hold ISO 639-6 code elements, instead of using
>> the 4-letter language subtags reserved for
>> (shhhh) this purpose.  That wasn't mentioned in the November
>> 2006 post, but it's something we would have to decide upon.

> Actually Peter constable suggested 5 characters some 6/7 years ago when I
> first joined the list.

> I really don't  have the time at present to enter into in-depth discussions
> on the inclusion/benefits/problems of incorporating ISO 639-6 especially as
> it would appear to be an uphill battle.  I would rather wait until the
> standard is published and somebody comes along and states their need.

> Best regards

> Debbie