I’m preparing the FDIS text for 639-3 and need to act on the disposition of ballot comments accepted by WG1 at the Warsaw meeting last year. One of the comments had come from the ISO 639-2 RA (LOC):


The issue of JAC membership needs to be clarified.  Currently section A.3 contains the statement "ISO 639/RA/JAC shall include one representative of the ISO 639-3/RA."  It is not clear if this means that one of the existing three representatives from TC37 will serve that funtion or if this is a fourth representative from TC37. At the ISO 639-RA/JAC meeting in January 2004, it was agreed that the makeup of the JAC should maintain a balance of representation from TC 37 and TC 46 — 3 members each — and thus that a representative of SIL (the designated RA for 639-3) should fill one of the three TC 37 positions.


This WG decision for this comment was not accepted, with the following note:


The consensus of the working group is that the make-up of the JAC should include three representative each from TC 37 and from TC 46, and in addition should include one representative each from the registration authorities for part 1, part 2 and part 3; that is, a total membership of 9. The representatives from registration authorities are not perceived to be representing either TC 37 or TC 46.


As project editor, I basically have no choice but to make sure the FDIS for 639-3 reflects that decision. Of course, this is something that the JAC will probably want to process, which is why I mention it here.


One small issue is that we will end up with essentially two different statements regarding the make-up of the ISO 639-RA/JAC: one statement found in part 1 and in part 2, and another in part 3:


Here’s the statement from ISO 639-1:2002, which is identical to that in ISO 639-2:1998:


A.3.1 Composition

ISO 639/RA-JAC is composed of

¾        one representative of the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm; representing ISO 639-1/RA),

¾        one representative of the Library of Congress (LC; representing ISO 639-2/RA),

¾        three representatives of ISO/TC 37 (nominated by ISO/TC 37), and

¾        three representatives of ISO/TC 46 (nominated by ISO/TC 46).

Both ISO/TCs may nominate substitute representatives.


Here’s the statement from ISO/DIS 639-3 (which will not change in this regard in the FDIS – statements having to do with responsibilities but not composition omitted):


A.3 Composition and responsibilities of the Joint Advisory Committee ISO 639/RA-JAC

The composition and responsibilities of ISO 639/RA-JAC are defined in ISO 639-1, A.3 and ISO 639-2, A.3. This part of ISO 639 adds the following to the definition:

¾ ISO 639/RA-JAC shall include one representative of the ISO 639-3/RA.

¾ ....


Thus, the statement in 639-3 is written as though it were effectively amending the statement in parts 1 and 2. Since nobody besides the JAC is affected by statements of its composition, it seems to me that the difference between the two statements is not a problem as long as we have an understanding among us regarding who the members are.




Peter Constable