In my answer to the question 'What should we define an uncommon language as?' I proposed the creation of the tag . This tag could cover both Latin (which is normally considered "dead") and older language variants such as Old English and Middle English. However, this tag would be 28 characters long, while Stack Exchange limits the length of tags to 24 characters.

So what would be a good alternative? The only one I can think of now is , which would imply that Middle English and Old English are considered "dead".

Update: Hatchet pointed out that tags can now be 35 characters long, so my question now becomes: "Do you consider an appropriate tag?"


Use two tags.

Keep the idea of for historical forms of languages that are still spoken today. Examples would include Old English and Middle English as mentioned as well as other historical versions of living languages such as Primitive Irish, Old Persian, Norman French, Old High German, Biblical Hebrew (possibly a special case because Modern Hebrew was specifically revived), Hieratic Egyptian, Attic Greek, and Koine Greek.

should be used for languages that are truly dead, where there are no significant communities of speakers of any form of the language according to linguists, even though the language may still be known and studied formally in schools. Examples would include Latin, Babylonian, Sumerian, and Elamite.

There are going to be unclear cases. For example, is Old Norse a historical language variant of Icelandic or are they separate languages that just happen to have high mutual intelligibility? In those cases, a judgment call will just have to be made. Nobody said language taxonomy was easy.


Since tags can now be 35 characters long, my position is that is an appropriate tag for this type of questions.

From the point of view of language learning, there is not difference between dead languages and historical variants of existing languages, so we can do without the tag or turn that tag into a synonym of .

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