Re: [open-linguistics] ISO 639 URIs

Just wanted to mention that the URLs of the form are also a fairly recent development,
and - as far as I know - did not come with any commitment of SIL to
keep these stable. But then, they probably carry enough semantics to
serve as a human-resolvable identifier even if they don't resolve for
machines anymore.


On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 6:40 PM Christian Chiarcos
<> wrote:
> Dear all,
> for almost a decade, the Linguistic Linked Open Data community has largely
> relied on for providing LOD-compliant language
> identifier URIs, esp. with respect to ISO 639-3. Unfortunately, this got a
> out of sync with the official standard over the years (and when I tried to
> confirm this impression by checking one of the more recently created
> language tags, csp [Southern Ping Chinese], I found that lexvo was down).
> However, even if this is fixed, the synchronization issue will arise
> again, and as ISO 639 keeps developing (at a slow pace), I was wondering
> whether we should not consider a general shift from lexvo URIs to those
> provided by the official registration authorities.
> For ISO 693-1 and ISO 692-2, this is the Library of Congress, and they
> provide
> - a human-readable view:,
> resp. -- this is actually
> machine-readable, too: XHTML+RDFa!),
> - a machine-readable view (e.g.,
>, and
> - content negotiation (,
>, working at least for
> application/rdf+xml)
> The problem here is ISO 693-3. The registration authority is SIL and they
> provide resolvable URIs, indeed, e.g.,
> However, this is plain XHTML only, nothing machine-readable (in particular
> not the mapping to the other ISO 639 standards). On the positive side,
> their URIs seem to be stable, and also to preserve deprecated/retired
> codes (
> I'm wondering what people think. Basically, I see four alternatives to
> Lexvo URIs:
> - Work with current SIL URIs, even though these do not provide Linked Data.
> - Approach SIL to provide an RDF dump (if not anything more advanced) in
> addition to the HTML and TSV editions they currently provide.
> - Approach IANA about an RDF edition of the BCP47 subtag registry
> (
> This contains a curated subset of ISO language tags and is supposed to be
> used in RDF anyway. [This has been suggested before:
> - Approach the Datahub team to provide an RDF view on their CSV collection
> of language codes (, harvested from
> LoC and the IANA subtag registry, but regularly updated)
> What would be your preferences? Any other ideas? In any case, if we're
> going to reach out to SIL, IANA or Datahub, we should be able to
> demonstrate that this is a request from a broader community, because it
> would come with some effort for them.
> Best,
> Christian
> NB: Apologies for sending this to multiple mailing lists, but I think we
> should work towards a broader consensus for language resources in general
> here.
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Received on Tuesday, 7 July 2020 20:46:20 UTC