Re: Tagging orthographic systems (was: (iso639.186) the

Date: Wed Sep 13 2000 - 18:02:43 EDT

On 09/13/2000 10:49:49 AM John Hudson wrote:

>Would it be too radical to
>suggest that 'language codes', per se, are one of the least useful things
>for IT tagging? A blind code, that offers no information about
>script variant, or even whether a language is written at all, simply does
>not convey enough information by itself. To be useful at all it needs to
>combined with other codes that indicate combinations of script, language
>and orthography.

Yes, I think it would be too radical. You need to ask what kind of data and
what kinds of processing are going to be involved. E.g. if you're creating
a kiosk system with verbal prompts and a voice-recognition input system,
you care about the speech variety of the user, but not at all about
anything to do with writing.

>...many hundreds of dead languages of interest to
>scholars are unrepresented. Of course, this is not an insurmountable
>problem. It could be addressed by additions to the Ethnologue or a
>database, to which Kamal Mansour offers the name Necrologue.

A most creative choice, I think.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:13 EDT