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Re: What to do with Gaulish ?

From: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 16:51:09 -0500
Message-ID: <BAY114-F219AFF379E4079744A4E2BB3F40@phx.gbl>
To: cowan@ccil.org
Cc: www-international@w3.org

Hi, I am troubled by tags like frc, fro, and frm
because I am wondering what happens when a person using a search engine asks 
for pages in French?  Will the frc, fro, frm pages turn up too?
It's quite possible that a person interested in French will be interested in 
moyen Francais/Middle French (frc) and in Old French (fro) if the search is 
for someone studying French.
The trouble with you all is you assume that people are just searching for 
pages in their first language and that they have only one real primary 
language they can accept pages in; clearly this cannot be the case for fro 
(Old  French) and frm (Moyen Francais).

It's also conceivable that a person might want documents that are written in 
either a Creole of French and Standard French.

One could of course list all of these in the meta content tags; for example 
for my "Moyen francais" document I could list:
lang=en, fr, frm

but some applications used to put up pages at some web hosts embed one's 
document into the body of a page they create; that's the case with teacher 
web (http://teacherweb.com), as I pointed out once before.

Also, as I noted, some of the 17th Century new world documents were in 
Middle French although you all have set the dates as 1400-1600 (those dates 
can vary a bit; you'd be surprised also at the amount of variation you can 
get in any given language at any given time before literacy was so 

I note that for Arabic (which has as far as I know and I am no expert) the 
following main subdivisions in its dialects,
Modern Standard Arabic
Eastern or Iraqui Arabic
Levant or Crescent or Syrian Arabic (Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, I 
guess most of Jordan; don't quote me)
Egyptian Arabic
Gulf Arabic (the Arabian Gulf)
North African Arabic

you just have to use the country codes--at least this is all I saw?

Why not also have variants for dates, such as

two digits plus the letter c, with the two digits indicating the century 
(01-20; I assume that the century would be redundant for the 21rst century 
variant of a language)?

Thus 17th century French would be 17c
16th century French would be 16c

There's not an 01 century French but if there were it would be 01c.

This solves the problem of varying by date in the A.D.'s nicely!

I've included below a description of the French in the 17th century U.S. 
document (for which the frm-US tag is of course clear enough to indicate the 
date if that is all one wants to do since there was as far as we know no 
16th century U.S. French) for those who may not be convinced that it is not 
in Modern French.

CE Whitehead

* * * NOTE--below are the peculiarities of the French document I am dealing 
with * * *

Grammar Changes

Singular nouns in the nominative may end in "s" as may their adjectives (in 
the middle ages, in Old French, the nominative endings for the plural and 
singular were the reverse of today's endings; the oblique endings for the 
plural and singular are what today's endings, with -s for the plural, are 
based on):

un/uns? isles
    (Fr. Moderne: un île)
    (Fr. Moderne: semblable)

    'to find,' might be spelled trouve, 'found' (trouver and trouve with the 
accent on the e are pronounced identically; that may be why)

Spelling Changes
ai becomes, sometimes oi; ait becomes sometimes oist; êt (and also et and 
ét) becomes sometimes est; ot becomes sometimes ost; îl becomes sometimes 
isl; ui becomes, sometimes uy; and oin becomes oing. Occasionally, v may be 
realized as b, while both s and c may be realized as sc as in "scavoir" (for 
"savoir') and "escrasent" (for 'écrasent'); also dipthongs with i may be 
spelled with y as in "celuy" (for 'celui').
Additionally, ocasionally archaic nominative forms ending in "s" (from Old 
French) might be used!

    (Fr. Moderne "alène," 'awl;' see 
[in Le dictionnaire de l'académe françoise, 1694; this reference was 
supplied by Gardefeu at http://www.wordreference.com])
    (Fr. Moderne "allât," 'go,' imparfait du subjonctif/imperfect of the 
avoit, alternately aboit
    (Fr. Moderne "avait," 'he, she, it had')
    (Fr. Moderne avaient, 'they had')
    (Fr. Moderne "casse-têtes" 'war clubs,' perhaps 'tomahawks')
    (Fr. Moderne "celui" 'that one,' 'which one')
    (Fr. Moderne "chariait"?)
    (Fr. Moderne "connaitre," 'to be acquainted with')
    (Fr. Moderne "côté'," 'coast,' 'side')
    (Fr. Moderne "disait," 'he, she, it said,' 'he, she, it was saying')
    (Fr. Moderne "écrasent," 'they crush' or 'mash')
    (Fr. Moderne "écrit," past participle of "écrire," 'write')
    (Fr. Moderne "été," past participle of "être," 'been')
estoit, étoit
    (Fr. Moderne "était," 'he, she, it was')
estoient, étoient
    (Fr. Moderne "étaient," 'they were')
    (Fr. Moderne "faisait," 'he, she, it was doing')
    (Fr. Moderne "fenêtres," 'windows')
    (Fr. Moderne "fête," 'feast,' 'celebration')
    (Fr. Moderne "Français")
    (probably Fr. Moderne "fraternisèrent," the simple past tense of 
"fraterniser," to 'fraternize;' in addition to subsituting an 'o' for the 
'a' in "fraterniser," de la Salle le jeune seems to have invented some of 
the word's spelling.)
    (Fr. Moderne "irait," 'would go' [conditional of "aller," 'go')
    (Fr. Moderne "île," 'island;' the -s ending on "isle" is from the Old 
French nominative form)
    (Fr. Moderne "loin," 'far')
    (Fr. Moderne "lui", 'him,' 'it')
    (Fr. Moderne "nommaient," 'they were named')
    (Fr. Moderne "parait," imperfect of "paraitre," 'it seemed')
    (Fr. Moderne "pluie," 'rain')
    (Fr. Moderne "peschaient," 'they fished,' 'they were fishing')
    (Fr. Moderne "pourrait," 'he, she, it could') [I misspelled!]
    (Fr. Moderne "savoir," 'to know')
    (Fr. Moderne "savait," 'he, she, it knew,''he, she, it could tell')
    (Archaic French [feminine? not in this case] form of Fr. Moderne "six," 
    (Fr. Moderne "soi," 'self;' or "soi-même," 'oneself')
tirois or tiroit
    (Fr. Moderne "tirait," 'drew' as in drew a bow--to shoot an arrow)

>From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
>To: "Elizabeth J. Pyatt" <ejp10@psu.edu>
>CC: www-international@w3.org
>Subject: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?
>Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 01:20:42 -0500
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>Elizabeth J. Pyatt scripsit:
> > First, let me put on the flame-retardant suit...here goes!
>I absolutely promise that this is not a flame.
> > My main objection is that I am not seeing a systematic process where
> > the appropriate linguistic community is ever consulted. There probably
> > does need to be a "fr-cajun" tag (because you might have to use the
> > "roa" Generic Romance tag otherwise), but in the current scenario,
> > the following will likely happen:
> > * Innocent researcher will submit the "fr-cajun" tag * List may discuss
> > whether it should be "fr-us", "fr-us-LA", "fr-us-Cajun", "fr-caj" or
> > "fr-cajun".
>That can't happen under the new RFC 4646 rules.  People submit subtags
>(in this case "cajun"), not whole tags.  If "cajun" were to be approved,
>users would be free to write "fr-cajun" or "fr-US-cajun".  The others
>are illegal.
>However, in all probability we won't do it, because there is a draft 639-3
>tag for Cajun French, namely "frc", and I at least will urge the user
>to just go with that even though it cannot technically be blessed yet.
> > Basically tags will be created haphazardly, and I suspect duplications
> > will occur (e.g. fr-caj vs fr-LA).
>"fr-caj" isn't valid, and fr-LA would mean Laotian French.  RFC 4646 is
>much more generative and less chaotic than earlier versions were.
> > There is also no mechanism in place to ensure that all French dialects
> > (or Langue D'öil languages) get consistent tags.
>The cure for that is to propose a coherent set yourself, or to encourage
>others to do so.  Otherwise, we can only act by request: people ask for
>the variant subtags they need.
> > Even worse, the French linguistic community may ignore these ad hoc
> > tags unless they were in the original consultation. One project may use
> > the ad hoc tag they registered, but not all dialect projects will (or
> > they'll be using an alternate system developed by the dialectologists
> > together).
>There is nothing any standards organization can do about people who
>disregard the standards.
> > Without the systematicity...what's the goal of registering these tags
> > other than as a "feel-good" measure?
>Not all requirements are comparative: some are merely descriptive.
> > What are the actual consequences if I create my own tag for a very
> > obscure form (maybe tell the other linguists) but not register it for
> > world wide use?
>There aren't any: the penalty for winning by cheating is winning by
>cheating.  But in this case, not cheating is cheap:  use "-x-" before
>your subtag, and it's unambiguously marked as private.
>Babies are born as a result of the              John Cowan
>mating between men and women, and most          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
>men and women enjoy mating.                     cowan@ccil.org
>--Isaac Asimov in Earth: Our Crowded Spaceship

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Received on Monday, 13 November 2006 21:51:30 UTC

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