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Re: Language Identifier List up for comments

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 09:41:22 -0500
Message-Id: <p06100502bde5f65dcd4d@[]>
To: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Cc: www-international@w3.org

John Cowan scripsit:

>Elizabeth J. Pyatt scripsit:
>>  Do you really need to specify different types of English used in the
>>  United States territories (e.g. Puerto Rico, Guam, etc). I'm aware
>>  that there are local varieties in some cases, but I'm not sure they
>>  are reflected in the WRITTEN forms, just in pronunciation. That is,
>  > business English is the same in Puerto Rico as in the continental U.S.
>These are exactly the things I want to find out.

I  don't think this is too hard to find out. I  went to  a Web site 
for Guam, and it appears that the written form is identical to en-US.

The other official language of Guam is Chamorro. Any competent 
dialectologist would have been able to determine that quickly, and I 
doubt they would have seriously considered that there was such a 
thing as en-GU for written forms.

But my real complaint is that I think we need a more flexible 
taxonomy to express language forms than just country codes. I'm sure 
there are spoken forms on Guam that are different from the mainland. 
There certainly are for Hawaii, Louisiana and Texas, but the current 
taxonomy has no way to represent these differences because Hawaii, 
Louisiana and Texas do not have their own country code.

Returning to the case of Puerto Rico, the main language to worry 
about is Spanish.

It appears to be written in standard Latin American Spanish (vs. 
Spain), but there is no code for that. Instead, I've been 
recommending es-MX (Mexico) because Mexican Spanish is one of the 
Latin American prestige forms (e.g. Spanish soap opera actors are 
encouraged to adopt Mexican accents). There are differences in spoken 
Puerto Rican - in fact several dialects worth, but again a code of 
es-PR would not allow anyone to make these distinctions.

I  would love to see a serious look at a taxonomy for language codes 
and regional variations, but it won't be based on any simple regional 
criteria. I would also  like it to involve people from the 
linguistics and dialectal communities as well as i18n specialists.

Elizabeth Pyatt

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Wednesday, 15 December 2004 14:45:06 UTC

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