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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, was a proposed 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 contained four-letter codes that denote variants of languages and language families. This allowed one 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 was researched and compiled by the ISO's registration authority GeoLang. ISO 639-6 was published in 2009, and withdrawn in 2014. 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:
|emen||Early Modern English|
|emse||Early Midland and South Eastern Middle English|
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 categorized as follows:
|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|
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