ISO 639-6

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ISO 639-6, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 6: Alpha-4 code for comprehensive coverage of language variants, is an international standard in the ISO 639 series, developed by ISO/TC 37/SC 2 (International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 37, Subcommittee 2: Terminographical and lexicographical working methods). It contains four-letter codes that denote variants of languages and language families. This allows to differentiate between, for example, historical (glvx) versus revived (rvmx) Manx, while ISO 639-3 only includes glv for Manx.

The data supporting ISO 639-6 is being researched and compiled on behalf of the British Standards Institution (BSI) by GeoLang, which has been found to be completely ignorant of comparative linguistics, the relevant field for this type of classification.1 ISO 693-6 was published in 2009.2 The database also links each language and family to its principal ancestor, allowing the user to follow the classification of various languages. For example, the codes and ancestry of English is given below:

Code Language
eng English
emen Early Modern English
emse Early Midland and South Eastern Middle English
meng Middle English
ango Anglo Saxon
angl Anglic
nsea North Sea
gmcw Germanic West
grmc Germanic
ineu Indo-European
wrld World

The database differentiates between different scripts used for the same language. For example, a number of different scripts were used in the Ottoman Empire and as a result the Ottoman Turkish language has been categorised as follows:

Code Language
ota Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928)
otaa Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928) Armenian Script
otah Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928) Hellenic Script
otap Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928) Perso-Arabic Script

See also

  • ISO 15924 Codes for the representation of names of scripts

References

External links

  • ISO 639-6 Home (Language-detail pages have been returning errors since at least August 2012[1])









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