Having two entries with the same name is less than ideal. Part 3 requires unique reference names, and so qualifiers like "(macrolanguage)" or "(individual language)" are possible, but if there's a way to avoid that, then that would be preferable.
The new individual language entries for Ancient Greek and Sanskrit need something to reflect what they actually denote. Presumably Linguist List or Ethnologue will provide some more detailed description to clarify, but if there's a way to give some indication in the reference names that would be good.
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of ISO639-3
Sent: October 7, 2013 11:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: splitting two historical languages
Dear JAC members and alternates,
The proposed change list for ISO 639 part 3 has had two or three proposed languages listed that involve splitting ancient languages. John Zagas of the Library of Congress and I discussed this last year, and agree that using the "macrolanguage" system would enable a split of the current part 2 language into two varieties in part 3. Thus, Ancient Greek [grc] would have one code for part 2 but two "Ancient Greek (individual language)" and "Medieval Greek" under part 3. Also, "Sanskrit" [san] would be split into "Sanskrit" and "Vedic Sanskrit" in part 3.
I would like to know if any of the Committee see a problem with this. I would like to process these requests in this cycle if possible, or else withdraw them as ill-conceived.
Thank you for any help you can provide on this question.