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Re: Article for wide review: Choosing a language tag

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 21:51:55 -0400
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@amazon.com>
Cc: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20091010015154.GC27019@mercury.ccil.org>
Phillips, Addison scripsit:

> > a) It's a mistake to conflate "[p]rimary language subtags that can
> > be used with extended language subtags" with macrolanguages.  Only six
> > ('ar', 'kok', 'ms', 'sw', 'uz', 'zh') of the 58 current
> > macrolanguages,
> > plus 'sgn', fall into this category.  Find or invent another term
> > to avoid confusion.
> I agree. I think some of us have gotten into the habit of talking
> about the macrolanguage-flavored extlangs as if they described the
> category. They do not. Probably the best name for this are: "extended
> language subtags" :-).

Well, "extended language subtag" is the right name for the second
subtag in "kok-gom", but what is the right name for the first subtag?
Just saying "primary language subtag", though correct, doesn't note
what's special about "kok" and its six friends.

> Note in particular that these are "specially selected languages". That
> is quite literally the qualification for being an extlang---that the
> IETF LTRU WG chose them (and no others).

Perhaps we should call the primary language tags that have extlang
subtags the "specially selected language subtags", then.

In my last lifetime,                            John Cowan
I believed in reincarnation;                    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
in this lifetime,                               cowan@ccil.org
I don't.  --Thiagi
Received on Saturday, 10 October 2009 01:52:27 UTC

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