[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] ISO changes and International Mother Language Day

Hugh Paterson hugh_paterson at sil.org
Thu Mar 7 19:14:47 UTC 2019

While I agree with Harold about publish first, then cite in change
requests, I would point out that to my dismay, that frequently IETF
sub-tags (for generating BCP47 tags, of which the ISO639-3 code is
foundational in many cases) can be proposed on the bases of the content of
Wikipedia articles.... a much lower barrier than publishing as Harold

With regards to the second item in Nathan's list, [lba], I find the
argumentation in the proposal troubling, because it too in part cites

A second and confusing point in Nathan's chart is how the retirement is
classified: "Retire (extinct)". In fact the reason for retirement is not
because the language is extinct, but rather because the proposal claims
that the language never existed and is spurious. Extinct languages can and
still do (should retain) their ISO 639-3 codes. In contrast, spurious
languages are claimed to never have existed, and therefore shouldn't have
ever been added to the ISO 639-3 code set.

@Nathan Thank you for including the links in your table. It made
referencing the related documents very easy.

- all the best,
- Hugh Paterson III

On Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 5:16 AM Harald Hammarström <harald at bombo.se> wrote:

> Hi Nathan! Thanks for this highlight. I think a problematic aspect is that
> many change requests are submitted (and decided upon) based on unpublished
> reports. In the case of Ekai Chin
> Language and Social Development Organization Survey Team. 2016.
> Sociolinguistic Survey of the Ekai, Khulai, Daitu, Saingbaung, and Khamaw
> varieties spoken along the Dalet Stream, Ann Township, Rakhine State,
> Myanmar. Unpublished manuscript.
> Wouldn't it be better to put the horse before the cart and release the
> report before the change request that cites it, rather than vice versa?
> all the best,
> H
> Pada tanggal Kam, 7 Mar 2019 pukul 07.02 Nathan & Carey Statezni <
> nathan_statezni at sil.org> menulis:
>> Dear all,
>> Two topics confusingly combined into one email here:
>> *International Mother Language Day and International Year of Indigenous
>> Languages*
>> UNESCO has declared this year to be the International Year of Indigenous
>> Languages (https://en.iyil2019.org/). Consider if there is an event you
>> can organize to promote this! A national language development organization
>> in Myanmar called Language and Social Development Organization (LSDO) has
>> been hosting celebrations of International Mother Language Day in Yangon on
>> February 21 for the last 3 years. They organized a larger event this year
>> to also celebrate International Year of Indigenous Languages. Check out
>> video coverage at their Facebook page: http://facebook.com/lsdomyanmar
>> *2018 ISO changes*
>> The following changes were made to TB languages in the ISO 639-3 standard
>> based on requests in 2018. Note that I don't make the decisions, so don't
>> blame me. :) Here's
>> <https://iso639-3.sil.org/sites/iso639-3/files/reports/639-3_ChangeRequests_2018_Summary.pdf>a
>> report of the changes globally from 2018.
>> *Change*
>> *Language*
>> *Code*
>> *Link for more info*
>> Add new language
>> Ekai Chin
>> cey
>> https://iso639-3.sil.org/request/2018-017
>> Retire (extinct)
>> Lui
>> lba
>> https://iso639-3.sil.org/request/2018-016
>> Request to merge two entries (REJECTED)
>> Waling to go under Bantawa
>> wly -> bap
>> https://iso639-3.sil.org/request/2018-005
>> I was one of the parties making the request for adding Ekai Chin. They
>> live in an under-researched area of Rakhine State (no prior mention in
>> publications before our team visited). We found via recorded-text
>> comprehension testing and confirmed by interviews that they had very low
>> comprehension of neighboring varieties.
>> The annual deadline for submitting requests for changes to the ISO
>> standard is the end of August. The decisions (approved, rejected, etc.)
>> then get made in the following January and get incorporated into the new
>> version of the Ethnologue that is released on February 21st each year,
>> International Mother Language Day. See more details on the process at
>> https://iso639-3.sil.org/
>> Nathan
>> _______________________________________________
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*Hugh Paterson III *Innovation Analyst
*Innovation Development & Experimentation*, *SIL International*
*Contact & CV* : http://hughandbecky.us/Hugh-CV/
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