Re: ISO 639-3 beta input form (was: Questions re ISO-639-1,2,3)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Aug 25 2005 - 08:52:06 CDT

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    From: "Peter Constable" <>
    >> From: Philippe Verdy []
    >> I would be very curious to know how the name for [aue] can be
    > effectively
    >> pronounced, when it combines all these consonnants !
    >> Now what does the apostrophe modify, the following vowel or the
    > preceding
    >> consonnant or click ? Isn't there a better English name for it,
    > instead of
    >> this pseudo-IPA phonetic local name?
    > As you identify the subject as pertaining to ISO 639-3, please note that
    > it should not be assumed that the name listed for any entry is an
    > English-language name. It is a name; the standard says nothing about the
    > source language.

    Yes but it was a suggestion for possible modification, before this draft
    becomes an final international standard.
    Also, the use of symbols within such names may cause problems (should these
    names be used as identifiers;
    anyway the draft standard also says that the names can be changed over time
    if it is found that the current name does not describe the language
    precisely, but the codes won't change as well as the relation with its
    corresponding language...)

    If there's no defined English name, so let's use the local name, but then it
    should use the correct Unicode characters, or a correct Latin

    I don't think that the apostrophe modifier letter will cause problems, but
    we should not keep the quote, or use the quote-apostrophe.

    However the encoding of clicks is problematic for general use of the names,
    for example in web input forms or English applications, and there should be
    better transliteration for them, using characters that are widely available
    in English systems, without having to require several fonts to display the
    complete list of languages. If you wish to use hacked symbols for
    representing those clicks, why not using instead Basic Latin letters hacks
    with digraphs/trigraphs (for example, "gl" for alveolar click, or "ql" for
    glotal click, or "dl" for dental click, or "bl" for bilabial click, or "ml"
    for lateral click).

    I admit that this causes usability problems...

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