This is an issue we deal with in the libraries as well, since we catalog
audiovisual materials : sound recordings without language, silent motion
pictures, still images and so on.
- 101 Unimarc field is declared "Mandatory if document has language".
Consequently if the document is considered as not having language the field
should be empty.
- Marc21 states : **Three fill characters (|||) may also be used if no
attempt is made to code 008/35-37** (which is the space for language code
in this format).
- Intermarc (the format used by the Bibliothèque nationale de France)
declares Mandatory the filling of the 008/31-33 (space for language code).
It provides a ### (blankblankblank) value for documents without language.
Then each library establishes specific instructions for filling these
In practice one may find not always the same code used to represent the
same (or nearly the same) thing, as is the case of the language coding of
"non linguistic materials". Somme would use "und", somme would use fill
characters, some leave blank, some create "local" specific codes like "zzz"
to indicate a specific kind of "non linguistic material" such as silent
movies (to distinguish them as a category which potentially should have had
a language but actually does not have one, due to historical evolution of
technologies, or maybe by a simple choice of the film-maker), etc. I'm
aware that in this last example people mingle up two different kinds of
categories : the one being the presence or lack of a language that may be
percieved by the human senses, the other being the justification of the
lack of this language - both given by the same identifier.
Keep in mind that what you call "non linguistic materials" are of different
kinds. As I mentioned hereabove there are sound recordings (music, or
sounds of the nature, etc.), silent films, grafic materials and images,
objects (in a broad sense of the word), and so on.
Should a "zzz" or "xzz" code solve the problem ?
I wonder if it is the role of a standard that codes linguistic unities, to
takle with the problem of presence or absence of the linguisitc unity ?
Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]>@loc.gov> le 08/06/2005 00:38:02
Veuillez répondre à ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
Envoyé par : ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>
Pour : [log in to unmask]
Objet : Re: code for "non-linguistic content"
> From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Michael Everson
> >Perhaps "zzz" for this special-purpose code?
> Well, in ISO 15924 Zzzz is "Code for uncoded script" which still
> implies "script"
If 15924 is used as an example, then perhaps "zxx" for non-linguistic
content (analogous to "zxxx" for unwritten languages).