Re: the Ethnologue

Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 09:38:38 EDT

On 09/14/2000 04:59:55 AM J%ORG KNAPPEN wrote:

>What really makes me wonder, is that the ethnologue seems to ignore the
>vast amount of published information on the german language and its
>There is more than a century of dialetological research on german, and
>are easy accessible publications showing the major and minor subdivisions
>of the german language.
>The ethnologue gives a very strange picture there, compared to the
>german literature. Maybe, because german dialectologists prefer to publish
>in german?

I can't comment with any confidence on what the basis for the Ethnologue's
assessment of Germanic. One possibility is that the research effort has
focused a lot more on the thousands of languages of the Americas, Africa,
Asia, Australia and the Pacific that are less well known (and generally
without any close relative that counts as a major language). As mentioned
earlier, the need for a comprehensive list of language identifiers pertains
more to that large set of languages than it does to a handful of Germanic

Also, I do encourage you to submit your comments to the Ethnologue editor,
or use the feedback mechanism on the Ethnologue site

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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