I had considered macrolanguage by what seemed like an analogous situation to Chinese: various distinct languages, but there is a written form that (to some extent) can be used by all. But with the further explanation Michael provides, it doesn't sound like that at all.


The ID "zh" is widely used for "Chinese" text; as such, it's entirely appropriate to refer to content that is in Mandarin "zh" versus Cantonese "zh" versus Hokkien "zh" etc. If N'Ko is a macrolanguage, then it should make sense to refer to the Bambara variety of N'Ko versus the Maninka variety of N'Ko etc. But if I understand Michael's description correctly, that would *not* be appropriate.


Michael gives Interlingua as an analogy. That is not like "zh".


Given what I've heard from Michael so far, I think that, if we code it, it should be considered an individual language, not a macrolanguage, and not a register or dialect of some other language.







From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joan Spanne
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 10:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New ISO 639 proposal - N'Ko - Discussion


Hi All, 

It sounds rather like a macrolanguage to me, but also as though it warrants further research. 

Is it acceptable for the JAC to =change= the assignment of an identifier from an existing meaning to a new meaning, thus making all previous uses of that code inaccurate (and there are already a current body of users to consider)?? That breaks Part 3's rules for how it will be maintained. How many other languages would like to have a more mnemonic identifier, but the best one was already taken (like American Sign Language)? 

-Joan Spanne 
SIL International 

Håvard  Hjulstad <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent by: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]> 

03/23/2006 04:20 PM 

Please respond to
ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>


[log in to unmask] 




New ISO 639 proposal - N'Ko - Discussion




Dear JAC members, 

Below please find a proposal to encode N'Ko. 

As far as I can see, the item is not encoded in ISO 639-3 or the Linguasphere Registry. The N'Ko script has been encoded in ISO 15924. There is clearly an urgent need for encoding in ISO 639. 

The concept of a "compromise dialect between a number of other languages" (as stated in the proposal) is quite interesting from a linguistic point of view. Does it mean that N'Ko is some sort of macrolanguage? The use of "literary dialect" may possibly misleadingly suggest that N'Ko isn't an individual language in its own right. I am sure that JAC members would welcome some enlightenment on this point. 

As to identifier, "nko" is taken in ISO 639-3 (as the proposer states), while "nqo" is available. Does the JAC wish to change the assignment of nko to Nkonya? 

And "the proposer" is of course Michael Everson, who is well versed in our workings. 

Discussion please (until 14 April). 


******** ORIGINAL PROPOSAL ******** 

This data was submitted on: Monday, March 6, 2006 at 13:24:37 

lang_in_eng = N'Ko 

lang_in_fre = n'ko 

ref_where_found_1 = <>  

lang_in_vern = n'ko 

ref_where_found_2 = <>  

trans_lit = conventional romanization 

evidence = There are many more than 50 documents published in N'Ko. There are monthly newspapers, dictionaries, grammars, history books, science books, and so on. The following agencies certainly have more than 50 documents:
Journal culturel de l'Association ICRA-N'KO B.P. 1119 Conakry, Guinea
TEL: 224-46-45-95
ICRA-N'KO - Association pour l'Impulsion et la Coordination des Recherches sur l'Alphabet N'Ko Executive Director: Kobinko Bintou Burama Kaba B.P. 1119 Conakry, Guinea
Tel: (224) 46-30-44, (224) 46-45-95 Fax: (224) 46-27-44
Sanoussy fiman Diané
Director, Central N'ko Bookseller Lérada B.P. 1119 Quartier Coleah Conakry, Guinea
Tel: (224) 46-45-95, (224) 41-36-33
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
ATP - Association des Tradithérapeutes et Pharmacologues Conakry, Guinea
Tel: (224) 44-38-33 

addinfo = N'Ko is a literary dialect written with the N'Ko script. It is a "compromise" dialect between a number of other languages, all of which may have their own codes. The N'Ko script is used to write the N'Ko literary language, which is written by speakers of Bambara, Mandinka, Djula, etc. The N'Ko language is different from each of those.
A code for the N'Ko language is urgently required for CLDR implementation and support. I request the code "nko" though this is assigned to Nkonya in the draft for 639-3. If this cannot be changed, "nqo" is available. 

request_addition = ISO 639-2 only 

2_code_suggestion = 

3_code_suggestion = nko 

submit_name = Michael Everson 

submit_email = [log in to unmask] 

submit_status = I am a software developer working on font and CLDR implementation for N'Ko. I proposed the encoding of the N'Ko script in ISO/IEC 10646. I am working with members of the N'Ko community to help support their efforts to get their language online.