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Peter

Thank you very much for your sympathetic and reasoned response.
I shall reply carefully, and as rapidly as possible, including my point #3 |
(excluded from my e-mail yesterday, in order not to delay its despatch).
Amicalement

David


From: Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, 10 April 2014, 22:52
Subject: Re: Coherence between codes in ISO 639-1, ISO 639-2 andISO 639-3 ////ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"

David:
 
Wrt #1 and #2, I agree.
 
Wrt #4, much of industry at large, including all Internet and Web technologies such as XML, has resolved for themselves any complexities over a limited set of 2-letter IDs that overlap with a much larger set of 3-letter IDs. Introducing new 2-letter IDs at this point will lead to new confusion and complexities, however, which is why I am in general not in favour of that.
 
Wrt #5, I can see some potential benefit of certain limited changes. On the other hand, I also see a lot of risk to a large number of users from larger changes that I’ve seen suggested, and I haven’t yet seen any TC 37 or TC 46 document indicating _why_ any changes are needed; I’ve only seen documents (like meeting minutes) indicating that some people want to talk about making change. At any rate, making any change to the standards themselves is not something that the JAC can undertake; as a JAC, we can only provide comments to TC 37 or TC 46, and as in any similar situation one can provide most effective comments when one has seen a document with some specific proposal for change and the reasons for that. Such a document doesn’t exist that I know of.
 
 
 
Peter
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Dalby
Sent: April 10, 2014 10:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Coherence between codes in ISO 639-1, ISO 639-2 andISO 639-3 ////ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Dear Colleagues,
My considered opinion on the principles affecting "shiKomori" is as follows:
 
1. If the Government of any independent nation wishes to develop a common national written form of a "language" with divergent spoken forms (as on the different islands of an archipelago), especially for reasons of producing common educational materials for the children of that country, then that initiative should receive sympathetic support from all relevant international bodies or institutions, including all responsible for ISO 639 and ISO 3166 
2. Such support should of course be provided after consideration of evidence that such a written language has already been created (including data on whether it has been based primarily or partially on the most widely spoken variety or varieties of the language, e.g. as spoken on the most populated island(s) of an archipelago).
 
... and on the wider principles involved:
 
4. Unless I am mistaken, much of the continuing structural weakness or "complexity" of ISO-639 (as a whole) arises from the fusion of two well-defined but essentially incompatible coding-systems : (1) a system of 2-letter tags covering (major) written languages for the purpose of identifying sources of terminology, and (2) a system of 3-letter tags covering (all) spoken and written languages for the purpose of identifying and locating all relevant bibliographic sources on or about each. language. 
 
5. If we have not already abandoned our firm decision of 2012 to review the structure of ISO 639, then may I please suggest that each member of our present JAC forum clarify her or his own opinion on that review, i.e. 
 
- Is such a review unnecessary, impractical, or too expensive ... and why ?
 
OR
 
- Is such a review still required ... and with what main objective or objectives ?
 
Bien cordialement à tous
 
David D.     
 

From: Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, 10 April 2014, 16:16
Subject: Re: Coherence between codes in ISO 639-1, ISO 639-2 andISO 639-3 ////ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
But for something to be coded in 639-1, 639-2 or 639-3, it must be a distinct language. That is a sufficient condition for encoding in 639-3. Therefore, by simple deduction, to be encoded in 639-1 or 639-2, the concept must first be demonstrated that it qualifies for encoding in 639-3.
 
Your approach, Gerard, appears to be to say that something meets necessary conditions of 639-1, therefore qualifies for encoding in 639-1 (without any additional consideration of sufficient conditions), and subsequently there is an obligation for encoding in 639-2 and 639-3. IMO, that is totally backwards and would lead to significant damage to the standard as well as significant problems for implementers and users.
 
 
John, I will add to my earlier comments observations on this information in the request:
 
>> Evidence:   All federal laws of Comoros
>> All local laws in each of the three federated islands Treaties with other countries
>> National Evidence:   Government of Comoros
>> Size Evidence:   national literature
>> Official Evidence:   National language by article 1 of the Constitution
>> Education Evidence:   In the three federated islands of Comoros
 
These are assertions without any ostensive evidence. In this case, based on other information I have seen, I think this evidence is suspect.
 
Also, there is no indication of any end users or implementers requesting this. All we know is that, having come from the TC46 liaison, it appears that TC46 thinks this is needed. Yet I haven’t heard any of the TC46 representatives hear speak up to explain why it’s needed, nor do I know that this is based on a consensus decision within TC 46 rather than an independent action on the part of certain individuals.
 
What I know from history is that a _different_ part of TC46 that maintains ISO 3166-1 has a table they maintain and that they like to fill it in with identifiers from 639. Yet this JAC, with representation from TC46, gave clear indication years ago that the table in 3166-1 in question was ill-advised. If the basis of this request is in relation to that table in 3166-1, then TC46 should not expect the JAC to support it.
 
So, I would find it helpful if our TC46 representatives could clarify the basis of this request coming from TC46, and what the intended usage would be.
 
 
Peter
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gérard Lang-Marconnet
Sent: April 10, 2014 1:27 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Coherence between codes in ISO 639-1, ISO 639-2 andISO 639-3 ////ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Dear All,
In my opinion, there is no doubt that the correct interpretation of the current text of ISO 639 is the "blunt" one:
- every language name coded in ISO 639-1 must also be coded in ISO 639-2, and
- every individual language name coded in ISO 639-2 must also be coded in ISO 639-3.
This is most clearly made explicit in clause "5 Relations entre les parties de l'ISO 639", more specifically in subclause "5.3 Principes", of ISO 639-4 "General principles of coding of the representation of names of languages and related entities, and application guidelines".
Bien amicalement.
Gérard Lang
Le 10 avr. 2014 à 09:32, Sebastian Drude a écrit :
 
Yes, Peter.
I did not want to formulate it so bluntly, but I fully agree, although that passage could also be interpreted as “if something is accepted in part (1 and) 2, it is also automatically included in part 3” – but that is clearly not appropriate as part 3 has its own mechanism for inclusion of new code points.
Best,
Sebastian Drude
 
I ask for your understanding if, in the interest of being quick and short, this mail may not fulfil all requirements on form and politeness.
--
PD Dr. Sebastian Drude, The Language Archive
Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics
P.O. Box 310, 6500 AH Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Email: [log in to unmask] – Phone: (+31) 24-3521.470
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
Sent: Mittwoch, 9. April 2014 18:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Sebastian and all:
 
> In my view,…
 
Clause 4.4 of 639-3 states:
 
“In particular, every individual language code element in the terminology code of ISO 639-2 is also included in ISO 639-3.”
 
This is more than a matter of the viewpoint of Sebastian or me or anyone else among us. It is an expectation of the ISO 639 standards.
 
Before consideration for encoding in Part 2, any individual language concept must (not just should) qualify and be accepted for encoding in Part 3.
 
 
 
Peter
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sebastian Drude
Sent: April 9, 2014 1:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Dear all,
 
In my view, BEFORE any inclusion to part 2 (let alone part 1) can be requested and discussed, any language should have gone through the process of being included in ISO639-3.
This requires detailed statements about the linguistic status of the language (including intelligibility with other varieties etc.).  Christian pointed rightly to relevant related languages.
 
As long as this has not been done, the status of this request cannot be evaluated, because it cannot be the task of this JAC to decide about the linguistic status of a variety to be included into ISO639-3.
 
As far as my linguistic contacts can tell, a relevant linguist to be asked about the status and situation of this language seems to be Marie-Françoise Rombi:
Another one is possibly Michel Lafon:
 
Best,
Sebastian Drude
--
PD Dr. Sebastian Drude, The Language Archive
Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics
P.O. Box 310, 6500 AH Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Email: [log in to unmask] – Phone: (+31) 24-3521.470
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Christian Galinski
Sent: Dienstag, 8. April 2014 13:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: AW: ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Dear all,
 
it shows that the criteria for selecting languages for coding and for the coding methodology itself need to be updated and refined.
 
Comorian (Shikomori or Shimasiwa, the "language of islands") … is a set of Sabaki dialects (=Bantu languages of the Central East African coast, incl. Swahili) but with more Arabic influence than standard Swahili. Each island has a different dialect and the four are conventionally divided into two groups…
It is coded in 639-3 under:
zdj – (Shingazidja) Ngazidja dialect
wni – (Shindzuani) Ndzwani (Anjouani) dialect
swb – (Shimaore) Maore Comorian
wlc – (Shimwali) Mwali dialect
(in 639-2 it would fall under bnt = Bantu other)
 
I am not in favour of including Shikomori for the time being, because it definitely needs to be further investigated. Besides, it would have an impact on the scope of a series of other language symbols.
 
Best regards
Christian
 
 
Von: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Patton,Glenn
Gesendet: Montag, 7. April 2014 22:53
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
In some past discussions of proposals, I have done searching in OCLC’s WorldCat database to see what support it may offer.  So, this afternoon, I searched “shikomor” and “comorien” in notes fields (5XX fields in MARC 21) in bibliographic records.  It is in these fields that catalogers would traditionally clarify information about the language of the resource being described (especially in cases in which current language codes do not directly cover the situation). 
 
“Shikomor” returned no search results.  “Comoriem” returned 104 matches.  I did a quick pass through those results, the majority of which involved the use of “comorien” as an adjective referring to the country.  By my rough count, there were 20 cases in which the resources being described were a dictionary or a grammar or other resources with “texte en français et comorien”, including a children’s ABCs book. 
 
Most of the records were created either the Bibliothèque nationale de France or by French university libraries which participate in the ABES consortium.  Obviously, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the bibliographic descriptions since I have no access to the materials themselves.  
 
--Glenn
 
Glenn E. Patton
Director, WorldCat Quality Management
OCLC
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin  OH  43017-3395
Phone: +1.800.848.5878, ext. 6371 or +1.614.764.6371
Fax: +1.614.718.7187
 
 
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2014 2:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ISOJAC] ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
I’m not in favour of encoding “Shikomor” in any part of ISO 639.
 
This term refers to a fictional language of convenience: Comoros refers to it in their constitution as though it were a language, but in reality there is not a single Comorian language. This is a bit like Filipino, a desire by the government to have a single unifying language, except that in the case of Filipino there actually was some progress and some measure of success in engineering a unifying language. From what I understand, that has not at all happened in Comoros.
 
That means, for instance, that there will not be any documents, Web pages or other kinds of content that need to be described as being in “Shikomor”. Even the government that asserts a “Shikomor” language does not appear to publish anything claiming to be in “Shikomor”.
 
To encode in any part, it would need to qualify for inclusion in 639-3, the part that has is the most comprehensive. Even there, I don’t see a need to encode. But even if it were decided that there were some value in encoding the notion “Shikomor” in 639-3, I don’t think it would qualify for inclusion in 639-2 due to lack of documents. Also, I would not support encoding in 639-1 under any condition as there is no benefit to be gained, but costs to be incurred by many.
 
Gérard’s interest appears to be to fill in a table in ISO 3166 pertaining to administrative languages. I think this is a good example of why it is a bad idea for ISO 3166 to have included such a table in the first place – which the JAC advised TC46 against doing in DIS ballot comments.
 
 
 
Peter
 
 
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Zagas, John
Sent: April 7, 2014 6:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: ISO 639-1 language code request for "Shikomor"
 
Dear JAC colleagues,
 
I recently received a request from Gérard Lang (see below) proposing that a code be created in ISO 639-1 and ISO 639-2 for the language, "Shikomor".  I submit this request to the JAC for review and discussion.  I should note that though the request is for creating the code in both Parts 1 and 2 (new language codes cannot be defined in Part 1 without a Part 2 counterpart), the requester's primary objective is to have the code defined in ISO 639-1.  As there have recently been long discussions on the ISOJAC Listserv concerning the advisability of creating new codes in ISO 639-1, the discussion for this request will be limited to a brief time span (a week to ten days at the most).  I look forward to your comments.
 
John Zagas
JAC Chair
 
===========================
>> Request for new ISO language code.
>> 
>> English name of Language:   Shikomor
>> French name of Language:   Comorien
>> Reference:
>> Vernacular name of Language:   Shikomor
>> Transliteration:
>> Evidence:   All federal laws of Comoros
>> All local laws in each of the three federated islands Treaties with other countries
>> National Evidence:   Government of Comoros
>> Size Evidence:   national literature
>> Official Evidence:   National language by article 1 of the Constitution
>> Education Evidence:   In the three federated islands of Comoros
>> Additional Info:   500 000
>> ISO 639-2 only :
>> ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-1 :   yes
>> three_code_suggestion :   coi
>> two_code_suggestion :   cm
>> Submitter's name:   Gérard LANG
>> Submitter's email :   [log in to unmask]
>> Submitter's status :   Liaison officer from ISO/TC 46 to ISO/TC 37
=================================