2011/4/5 stuart yeates <[log in to unmask]>
says of xml:lang: "(language) indicates the language of the element content using a ‘tag’ generated according to BCP 47"

Section 4.2 and 4.3 of BCP 47 might help to decide about your issue. See esp. in section 4.3:

"In some applications, a single content item might best be associated with more than one language tag. Examples of such a usage include:"


Felix says: "Designed for identifying the human language used in the scope of the element to which it's attached." makes it clear that the scope in question is lexical scope (in the computer science sense).

My question is whether xml:lang can be assumed to make implications about the semantic content of the tags as well as the character content. Or in other words are the two fragments are semantically the same:

<bibl xml:lang="ru"><title xml:lang="en">War and Peace</title><author xml:lang="en">Leo Tolstoy</author></bibl>

<bibl xml:lang="en"><title>War and Peace</title><author>Leo Tolstoy</author></bibl>

Stuart Yeates
Library Technology Services